Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Preached at St. Paul's, Carondolet on November 28, 2010. The Gospel text was Luke 7:28-35


“The Pharisees and lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.”

That phrase leapt out at me.

I can just imagine the confusion the Pharisees and lawyers must have felt. What was Jesus talking about? They were following the letter of the Law – something they had studied all their lives.

Perhaps it impressed me simply because I am in the midst of reading Desmond and Mpho Tutu’s new book, Made for Goodness. For whatever reason, it is an age old quandary – why am I here? What is my purpose?

It is easy to get lost in all the information available – both then and now. The Pharisees thought they were doing what God intended for them to do. Here Jesus was talking about being baptized. What difference did that make to these men of the Law? It is so difficult to wrestle with the idea of what is known and that which is unknown.

In a world where there are so many unknowns, we reject the idea that God created us in goodness, for goodness – the point of the Tutus’ book.

Maybe that idea is just too simple to grasp.

St. Augustine wrote that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God. But what does that mean? How do we find rest in this rush, rush world? Especially at this time of year? For that matter, how do we find God?

We hunger; we crave…something. This hunger eats away at us daily; causes us to seek and to sate that craving with things that take us so far away from the ideas of goodness and God’s purpose for us.

God blew breath into the first human – ruach – the breath of God.

God made those first humans and said, “It is very good.” Not just Good. Just good was for all the other aspects of creation. For the humans, God said it is VERY good.

We are made by God, for God, in goodness, for goodness.

It’s not that we SHOULD be good…it’s that we ARE good.
God said so. And that lives within us each moment of every day.

Yet even with that, the things that people fear most are alienation, separation…of being cast aside. We want to belong so badly that we seek out those things we that cause us to stray so far away from God’s purpose for us. Our lives are too often centered on trying to belong and … then, conversely, trying to run away. We want to be a part of things but when things get complicated we adopt the ‘fight or flight’ stance. We either join in some sort of fight… or we run away.

Yet if God created us all with the same goodness and if we are all called to love one another, then there has to be an understanding that we need one another
– every last one of us needs every last one of us, the first, the last and the most, the least – regardless of how complicated relationships make our lives.
.
Recently, four of the world’s religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama and our own Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, met at Emory University in Atlanta. One of the leaders, Lord Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief Rabbi stated that spiritual happiness is the “greatest source of renewable energy that we have.”

Spiritual Happiness...Greatest source of renewable energy.

As an environmentalist, this is a profound statement to me.

All the leaders agreed that the more we give, the happier we are. My grandmother used to say that the more we give away, the more that comes back to us.

If we do need one another, if that is the way that God created us and if God’s purpose for us is goodness, made in goodness for the sake of goodness, then I think it is safe to assume that the answer to the question of God’s purpose for us is fairly clear.

Do good. Not for ourselves…but for others. Do good.

We reject God’s purpose for us when we put our needs above the needs of others or when we make ourselves the center of things. And it’s easy to make ourselves the center of attention – one way is to take on too much – to be in charge of this or that. To have to control so many things.

We live in an I, Me, Mine culture which promotes the idea that the individual is far more important than the whole…and that we actually have some right that others should cater to our … quirks. It keeps us from seeing very far from our own center point of being – rather than being centered in God, we center ourselves on ourselves. Not very stable. Mainly, it keeps us centered on that which we know.

The unknown scares the living daylights out of us. It scares us into a stubborn ignorance.

That is basically what the Pharisee’s and the lawyers did: John & Jesus, young men, newcomers telling the same story with a very different spin on it. How could they possible know all that these wise, learned men know, these men who had dedicated their lives to study the Law?

But John and Jesus did. They knew God’s purpose for themselves and they knew that it was to do good for others.

Advent is a time of meditation and reflection while awaiting the coming of something so spectacular and phenomenal that it alters our lives forever. It is a time where all creation is reconciling itself to God.

On this 2nd Sunday in Advent, this Scripture reading from Luke calls us into a no uncertain recognition of God’s purpose for us -- reconciliation – with one another, this creation and with God.

When we reconcile ourselves to one another and to this great creation, we reconcile ourselves to God.

The only unknown in this is just to what extent will our lives be transformed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jesus, remember me

Our provost, Mike Kinman, offered a reflection on Sunday, November 21, the last Sunday after Pentecost. It reflected upon the request by the one criminal who asked, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Mike painted a picture of what it means to be remembered.

The picture that came first into my mind was, of course, of my family. My memories of this particular holiday are full of fabulous, my grandparents, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, children, the smells as we walked into the house, the noise of so many people talking at once, the laughter and the warmth. These memories give me such feeling of family and what I think it means.

But what is it for me to be remembered by another?

I know that during the day tomorrow, I will be remembered by several people. Probably the one who will remember me most is my mom. My daddy too. The kids at one time or another will think about me, especially my daughter and grandbabies. My sister will remember me. My grandmother also.

The funny things about it all – as my own memories of Thanksgiving’s past will in many ways mirror their own.
In some ways, it tears my heart, I miss them all so badly. In other ways, I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. It doesn’t make it less painful, but it does make it a bit easier. To know that what I am doing now is important; that I am living a life that I believe I am called to live, it makes it easier.

But Lordy, I do miss my family!

So, tomorrow, as with every day, I am so thankful for so many things and so many people: Debbie, who has walked with me for this crazy journey and still loves me; Tucker, who has adapted as necessary to the craziness of our lives; Mom & Daddy, who love me unconditionally; for Amanda & Chris, who are taking care of business; Kyleigh, Kason, Caleb & Abby, who love me as only grandbabies can love a grandmother; for Josh & Karri and Matt who are my own even though others claim them; for my sister Jo who has been my best friend (and my best enemy in the past) and is always willing to support me;  my sweet niece Tori and her beautiful baby girl; and I am thankful for my wonderful, resilient, awesome grandmother, Bula Bell Click, 97 years young.

And just a few other things for which I also give thanks: for our friends far away in other lands and our new friends here in Saint Louis, for this crazy Episcopal Church, especially the Diocese of Missouri and her bishop, for my job, especially the new part of it!!!!!, for our new home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and for the opportunity to breathe and laugh every single day! I give thanks for this great Creator God who has made us for goodness. Most especially, I give thanks for hope.

May God bless each and every one of you and fill you with love, laughter and Joy! It is good to remember and to be remembered. In our memories, we will always be united. 

Sunday, October 03, 2010

"Increase our faith!"

How did I go to church all those years in the past and walk away with nothing more than a feeling that I had done what I was supposed to do?

Maybe it was the Baptist preacher style of Repent and Be Saved that kept me from hearing fully! I already knew I was saved so I didn’t feel the need to repent. For as long as I can remember, I have felt God’s abiding grace and love for me. If I heard “Increase our faith” long ago, I must have thought that I already had enough. I don’t know. I just don’t remember being that affected.

Perhaps it is the state of the world today. Maybe it is just me being older, more mature. Again, I don’t know. But what I hear now is this: Change. Act. Transform. Share the message. Share the passion. Feed my people.
In today’s Gospel reading (Luke 17:5-10), Jesus tells us that if our faith was the size of a mustard seed, still, we could tell a tree to uproot itself and plant itself in the sea and it would do so.

Right now, I am fairly disheartened at the state of things. So many people out of work, so many new people living on the streets and in shelters. So many children diagnosed with ADD, autism and all manner of other disorders. So much pollution. So much terror. So much hate and fear surrounding all people gay or lesbian. So many children dying at their own hands due to the hate and fear surrounding them.

So many people who have lost…or maybe never had…that faith the size of an itsy-bitsy mustard seed.

I think that one of the things that I never heard in all those sermons in the past was that it might be hard to live a life that demands transformation (of self…not of others). It means living on the edge…living outside of what is considered “normal”. I give thanks to God that I have never considered myself normal.

Ellen DeGeneres made a statement the other day that one gay teen suicide is tragic, four (and now there are six we know of) is an epidemic. And I agree.

What are we feeding ourselves that six boys could take their own lives in one month’s time and we cannot see this as an epidemic…as something to which we should Act…Now. Each one of these boys belonged to some mother, father, sister, brother. Each one of these children was loved by their families. Each one of these boys took his life because he was being tormented by other children who feared him. Except, the fear was acted out in hate and bullying. It is difficult to see the torment as fear when it is directed at one person by several (or many).

The mustard seed passage goes on to say that we have a place in this life. It is to plow and tend the sheep and then come in from the field and take care of the master. It is our job. It is what we are supposed to do.

Literally, we may not have a field to plow or sheep to tend. Nor do we necessarily have a “master” to whom we are a slave. Yet if we want that power of faith…so powerful that even a tiny portion can change the nature of things as we know these…if we want that faith the size of a mustard seed, we have to understand that not only do we have to take care of our daily business but we also have to take care of the business of Jesus. That business is making sure that we don’t just cry into our computers or newspapers as we read a sad story but that we work at changing that which is bound in fear.

We have to make a difference. The only way we can do that is by speaking out against fear; standing up in faith; shouting out in Love.

Today is the only day we have. Tomorrow may be too late. Another child may have died simply because he did not hear our voice saying, “It will get better.”

It will get better…IF we do something to make it better.

Change the world. It’s what we are supposed to do. 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Processing by Blogging

We found a house that we really like. Of course, there are many houses in this city that we really like. The point is, we can actually afford this one.

It is huge, perfect for visiting guests, family, anyone who needs a place to sit and heal. Lots of room but homey.

We turned an offer in on it yesterday. But it was such a good buy, in size, price and location, we were not the only ones. As a result, we were outbid.

The good thing is that because of the belief that God is always working in our lives, I didn’t get my hopes way up there. We prayed that God would guide us in the right way and guard us from ourselves. Because of that prayer, I was not really worried. If we didn’t get it, then I was ready to believe that was just part of the big Plan. If we did get it, well, then, I was just as ready to believe that was part of the big Plan too. Either way…it worked.

Regardless of hopes, the idea of once again owning a home brought me several points of consternation.
If we own a home are we tied down – to one place, to a mortgage, to jobs, to a certain economy and real estate market? That doesn’t fit into the gospel idea of ‘take nothing, sell it all, go and trust God’. When we first began this journey, we did take a few things, we didn’t sell it all but we go and for the most part of this journey, we have trusted that God is always with us and will always guide us.

If we own a home, does it make us less ready to go as God guides? We already proved that one. We had a home plus acreage. Plus animals. Once we said ‘yes, we are ready,’ all things fell into place. In a very short amount of time, we no longer had most of those things and we were on the road. We lacked for nothing.
Ok, so that answers one question. A home does not tie us down.

But what about too much? How much is too much? This house was huge. Seriously so. Over 3000 square feet. No, we certainly do not need that much room. However, it would have been ideal to create a hospitality house, to turn it into a place for short retreats, a home always open to those who need a space for a short while. Still…it was grand.

I don’t think I will ever be able to justify owning a home while so many in the world don’t even have a roof. I can’t even begin to try. Nor will I make excuses for the fact that I have a roof. I am no more deserving than another. But I can make certain that I use my home in a way that will be to the glory of God.
And always, I will remember that just as Jesus sent the disciples out into the world with nothing, so Jesus later told them to be prepared for the next stage of the journey.

I will continue to process this. But I do believe I feel change coming. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010 Special Day

This is a very special day. 

Today, we celebrate Mary, Martha and Lazarus-Mary, for her willingness to listen; Martha for her ability to act and for the faith of both that allowed them to believe that Jesus was indeed the Resurrection and the Life and that all who believe will live forever. Upon that faith, Lazarus was returned to them. They are all symbols of faith, friendship and hospitality.

Today is also the birthday of our youngest grandson, Kason and our niece, Tori.

But today we also celebrate an event that happened thirty-six years ago. On July 29, 1974, I was three years out of high school and living what I thought was an independent life. Although my parents had already begun attending the Episcopal Church of the Holy Mount in Ruidoso, New Mexico, I was totally alienated from any type of religious institutions. It was a part of that time where I successfully drowned the niggling voice that came to me at odd moments. I was almost 21 and entertained no desire for any religious life.

My myopic view of life left no room for religion and very little concern for the political upheavals of the day. Therefore, I had absolutely no awareness of the 11 women “irregularly” ordained into the Sacred Order of Priests in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There was no anger, no awe, no shock. Just total ignorance.

For the past 15 years, it has mattered greatly to me. So today, I lift up these women and the men who supported them in thanksgiving and in prayer.

Merrill Bittner
Alison Cheek
Alla Bozarth (Campell)
Emily C Hewitt
Carter Heyward
Suzanne R. Hiatt (deceased 2002)
Marie Moorefield
Jeanette Piccard (deceased 1981)
Betty Bone Schiess
Katrina Welles Swanson (deceased 2006)
Nancy Hatch Witting



Ordaining Bishops:
Daniel Corrigan
Robert L DeWitt
Edward R Welles
Assisting: Antonio Ramos



It is upon the shoulders of all these women and these men that I stand today. Thank you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Praisin' in the grass is a gas, baby can you dig it?

A friend of mine from Fort Worth commented on my Facebook note about Mass on the Grass on Pride Sunday in Saint Louis, MO. He wrote “praisin’ in the grass is a gas, baby, can you dig it?” That paraphrase couldn’t fit any better!
And it was a joyous occasion with only one blot upon the service. That was the preacherman who rants each year a short distance from the crowd gathered to praise God and give thanks for God’s inclusive love. This year he stood much closer than in the past two years. He shouted throughout the service that God condemns all those who are gay and lesbian, bisexual and trangender. He yelled out that if we don’t change we will burn in hell. At one point, he asked if we thought that God would really listen to our prayers. A number of people nearer to his rant cried out in unison, “Yes we do!”
If he could be called nothing else, the word rude is appropriate to describe him. But many other descriptive terms come to mind. However, the emotion he brought out in me was an extreme and almost overwhelming sadness.
Sadness for him. That his idea of God is so small and his understanding so limited that he focused on a very few pieces of scripture rather on the theme throughout all scripture – LOVE. He attempted to thrust upon us a god so small and vengeful that only the fearful and hateful could ever worship a god such as that. All of his rantings were antithetical to my understanding of what God is to me.
I wanted him to hear the idea that if we are able to reconcile ourselves to one another, then we can be reconciled with God. He seemed a sad and lonely man, full of the fire of hell. Driven by a false dilemma that creates an inability to live in faith and love, he could not hear my message or that of others who tried to talk with him.
The Epistle reading for yesterday was Galatians 5:1, 13-25. I am sure that the preacherman knew the verses well. “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” Sadly, I am also sure that his focus would be only the part dealing with sexual acts rather than viewing the verses as a whole.
Even sadder still is the fact that he does not reap the promise of the very next verses…”The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”
Preacherman is scared and filled with vengeance. Preacherman is afraid that if we, as LGBT people are accepted as full members into the living kin-dom of God, what does that say for him? If we are loved by God as children of God, and that in that love there is no “other” or “them,” where does that leave him in the hierarchal, patriarchal tenuous world he lives in? Where is his authority and power?
And that is the sad part. If we, as LGBT people hold an equal share in that love of God, he may see himself as losing the small amount of power and authority that he feels he can claim.
That is what fear does to us. It makes us worry that we are not getting our fair share. We put ourselves first rather than understanding that it is in the giving that we receive.
We are called into freedom but that does not mean that we can stand on a street corner and judge and condemn those we deem unworthy according to our own limited understanding. The “whole law is summed up in a single command.” We are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Preacherman can’t love me because his imagination won’t allow him to know how fully he is loved by God.
Because of that, he is not able to love himself. There is no way he could understand what was happening as we were “praisin’ in the grass.”

Friday, June 25, 2010

What is it to you?


I have worked at a few food pantries over the last 15 years. In each one, one of the biggest problems was combating the need to control who gets how much. Someone was always worried that those receiving help would take advantage of those giving it away.

If a food pantry wishes to receive canned FDA foods, there certain rules apply that the pantry must follow to qualify. The pantry has to keep records of the people who receive the goods, i.e. social security, picture ID, residency, income eligibility. Time restrictions on how often a person/family may collect food are also set. Each client according to family size receives a certain amount of protein (tuna, peanut butter, legumes), vegetables and fruit each time period.

The reason a food pantry follows these guidelines is that this food comes from the federal government at no charge to the pantry. It is free. That means there is a great deal more substantial food that can be given out to each family every month over and beyond what comes in as donations. But, as I have heard all my life, nothing in life is free. With the free food come rules that exclude. If the pantry does not wish to stock their shelves with federal foods, then that which is given away becomes subject only to the largeness of heart…or the fear that there might not be enough.  

Complaints that this, that or another “client” has a cell phone, a nice car, cigarettes, nice clothes or some other you-got-it-but-I-want-it material object causes these things to become a meter by which that client is gauged worthy (or unworthy) to receive free food.

Not long ago, I read Sara Mile’s Take this Bread. Now I am reading her book, Jesus Freak. Two things come to me from these books: Feed my sheep. Feed all my sheep, no exclusions.

It’s all about steadfast unconditional love…that hesed of God. “We can't be taken advantage of when we give away without condition. When we give with the only consideration being that we give to all, no one can take advantage of us. (Sara Miles in Jesus Freak when a student asked if she was afraid that people would take advantage of the St. Gregory of Nyssa Food Pantry) It’s sort of like that crazy verse, “whoever loses his life will save it; whoever is last will be first.”

This is important information for us to digest, not just from a food point of view but for all basic needs that people have. We need food. We need shelter from the elements. We need education and medical care. All these things make up a community. We need to love and be loved. We need community. By what do we monitor another’s need?

The world is full of people who worry that someone else is going to get something he or she doesn’t deserve. We are so worried about that idea that we can’t even see that people are dying from lack of medical attention, food, shelter, love…and more.

These things should not be used as bargaining chip in the game of life. Food, love, shelter and so many other things are not treats to hold over another’s head while asking that person to sit, beg, or play dead.
“Feed my sheep.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Simon Peter – feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep. And then, when Peter worries about whether or not the beloved disciple should stay or go, Jesus says, “what is that to you?” He did not say, ‘if you think you have enough to share, then feed others.’ He just said, “Feed…” He said “Follow me” not, ‘come on, if and when you have the time.’

What is it to you or to me?

Jesus didn’t tell us who the lambs are. He didn’t tell us where we were going. We cannot assume that there are lambs less deserving. We cannot assume we have the answers. We have only the work that is in front of us. We don’t have time to worry about who we should exclude. The only thing we can safely assume is that Jesus meant all.

Every last one.

Now.

Today.

This very minute.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holy Week

My God, my God…I am weary.

My God, dear God…I am elated.

My bones are weary but my heart is wild with joy.

My brain is fuzzy but one thing I know for sure – I love you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sermon Offered at Episcopal School of Ministry, January 23, 2010

Psalm 33, Ephesians 3:14-21, Matthew 24:24-27

http://satucket.com/lectionary/Phillips_Brooks.htm

Awesome Fullness

When I first read the scriptures for today, the first thing that came into my mind was the verse, “When I fall on my knees, with my face to the rising sun, oh Lord have mercy on me.”

It’s the way I felt when standing on Presque Isle, watching the sun set across Lake Erie, I was overcome by the sight and fell to my knees in the sand with the words coming from my mouth – “and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” It’s that same feeling that I feel when I fully realize that God LOVES me…that Christ dwells in me… that in faith, I am rooted deeply in that love. It makes me want to share that love, knowing that I am included in that vast unending love of God.

Funny how that always comes as a comfortable shock…if it is possible to be comforted by a shock.

In a time of such conflict and doubt these are assurances that we need…these little verses, these pieces of songs and prose that remind us of our AWE.

I can only guess that Phillip Brooks must have felt that too. January 23 is the day that we commemorate him. He is known as the author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” but he is also known as one of the greatest American preachers of the 19th century. Ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1859, he later became rector of Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia and later still rector of Trinity Church in Boston. It was a time of civil discord, a country at war, President Lincoln assassinated. There was definitely conflict and doubt with many false prophets abounding.

Brooks was also an “overseer and preacher” at Harvard University, but he turned down an offer to be the “sole preacher and teacher of Christian ethics” there. He once wrote that his only ambition was to “be a parish priest and, though not much of one, would as a college president be still less". In 1891 he was elected as the sixth bishop of Massachusetts. He died 15 months later on January 23.

Unrest and uncertainty assault us every day. In our economy, our church, our jobs, our personal lives. That is the reality of life, historically and presently and will be in the future. Today parts of our world are shaking and rumbling all around us, literally cracking and heaving and hundreds of thousands of people have died and even more injured and made homeless…almost country-less.

Then…then we have the audacity of the Pat Robertsons of the world making hate-filled and irrational statements that these catastrophes are the result of pacts with the devil and that these have been brought on by God’s wrath over certain sin. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that a thing as big as the earthquake in Haiti could be attributed to a pact with the devil? Wow, we could fix that easily, couldn’t we? Make a few sacrifices, maybe even an evangelist or two; promise a few virgins…surely that would fix it.

Talk about a False prophet…

The gospel of Matthew tells us…Do Not believe it. The devil is not the one being pointed at; rather, it may be the one who is pointing. I think that Robertson and others may have forgotten about the idea that Jesus came to set us free from such things.

We know that the one pointing is a False Prophet because the psalmist tells us … and we know it to be true…

the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes – these all can be the effect of a rapidly changing global warming pattern…and these may even be attributed to our selfish drive to get as much as we can as fast as we can…but these things are not happening because God is punishing a group of people who may (or may not have) made a pact with the devil or because a place caters to a gay crowd or because a city is known for a bit of ribald revelry. These things happen because … well, because creation keeps on happening…and so does death and destruction. It is just a dynamic part of living.

We are not measured by the bad things like natural disasters that happen to us or around us. We are measured by what we do, how we act, how we reach out to those who are dramatically affected by these things; by life its ownself, whether that be an earthquake or losing a loved one or becoming homeless…what we do for others is how we are measured.

Just like the author of Ephesians, I pray that we all may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.

And as we are filled with this AWE-some fullness, we are filled with the righteous knowledge that overcomes all false prophets and false messiahs. In that fullness, that rootedness, the richness that belongs to God will be ours to share, in love and awe-filled wonder.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day January 18, 2010

Well, hello. Yes, I am still here although I suppose in a hiding of sorts...or so busy that I have no time to formulate a thought. Whatever the reason, today opened up a lot of thoughts in me.

Today, we had a program at Christ Church Cathedral, St Louis called "Let Freedom Ring." It was an all day reading of the sermons, speeches and writings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While others read, I tweeted a good deal of the readings.

Many of his quotes are embedded on my brain, from both today and from the past. From the past, many of his words helped me understand why I cannot sit still while so much goes on around me. His words helped me, more than anyone thing, to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today only energized that understanding.

I first read Dr. King as a grad student at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth. Yeah, I know. Long time to go without reading Dr. King. It is a regret but I can guarantee you that I made up for it.

While I knew many of the speeches that I heard today and many of the direct quotes, one that struck me anew had to do with problems he noted: he said that we have a problem with a "sort of quasi-liberalism based on the principle of looking sympathetically at all sides." Basically, what he is saying is that all those fence sitters are not all nice and innocent; rather, what they are is a major problem. He is talking in particular about the "northern liberals" back in the 60's who claimed that the South was so wrong about it's attitude but didn't deliberately do anything about it.

That problem still exists, within and without the lesbigay population. People think that being gay or lesbian is not a problem...they don't even have a problem with same sex marriage...but they don't do anything about it.

Or worse, there are gays and lesbians who are gay or lesbian, married or coupled, some with kids. From their "lifestyle" one would assume that they do not have a problem with being gay or lesbian. They may even be bold about being gay or lesbian. Yet, what do they do to help those who are not able to be so bold? What do they do to change the world?

So, "quasi-liberalism" struck me as an appropriate term. Quasi...having some resemblance...almost, but not quite. Nearly...but not there yet.

So, what are we waiting on? What will it take to get people off of the fence?

One more quote: "Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating that absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will."

I'll leave it at that.