Thursday, December 20, 2012


I wrote this last year for our church's book of advent meditations.  I offer it here,  slightly revised, to anyone who hasn't read it or thinks it's worth reading again.
Merry Christmas!

Psalm 67
Isaiah 56:1-8
John 5:33-36

Advent is a time of waiting. Waiting to bear joyful witness to the incarnation of God into the realm of humanity. Waiting for, in the words’ of Isaiah, God’s House to be a House of Prayer for All. We are waiting for God but God is also waiting for us. God is waiting for us to recognize the foreigner or stranger or the eunuch (read by some to include homosexuals). God is waiting for us to recognize that anyone who preserves justice and does what is right has a place in the House of the Lord. God is waiting for us not just to recognize but to rejoice and to join with them. For as Isaiah says "I will gather to them still others besides those already gathered."  Our time of waiting is almost over. We must now stop waiting and begin doing. God is waiting for YOU. What are you waiting for?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fiscal Policy for the 47%

 Oh wait, we won, that means there's more than 47%  right? LOL!!

 Finally a  democrat not afraid to be a democrat. Great video on the "Fiscal Cliff" (don't you hate that phrase?) from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Spread the word.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More to the Story?

I’ve been haunted this week. Haunted by the faces and voices of Emmett Till, Rodney King, Sean Bell, Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo, Rosa Richardson, Marie Scott, Mary Turner, Travon Martin, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. They’ve been repeating what I, and so many, know only to well. The United States is not safe for black people.

Last week 13 Cleveland police officers, after a high speed chase lasting almost 25 minutes and going through at least 2 other municipalities, opened fire on an automobile occupied by Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. At the end Timothy and Malissa were both dead. Malissa’s body was so damaged by bullet holes that at first glance it was unclear whether she was a man or a woman.

The story is still unfolding. No one will ever know exactly what precipitated these events. Depending on who you listen to the occupants of the car: fired a single shot in the air in the vicinity of the Justice Center downtown; or they fired at a police officer; or the police inside of the building heard what they thought was a shot and came out. At any rate at 10:21 p.m. the vehicle took off at high speed from the Justice Center followed by police. The only facts known for sure are: high speed chase for over 20 minutes; 13 officers firing a total of 137 bullets and two people with over 20 bullets each in their dead bodies.
I am saddened and angry but not surprised. When I went online to research police killings of black people in America I came across the following blog post:
Keep in mind this was written in April. How many more have been cut down in the seven months since? How many have we not heard about? How many have been beaten or brutalized but not killed? How many?

The other day at work I heard a couple of people discussing the incident. Their consensus was "there must be more to the story." How comforting it must be to be able to say that and dismiss the so very obvious. I know the story. It’s a very old one and the end is always the same. Another nigger dead
(or in this case two - they got lucky). 

Everyone wants to tiptoe around the dread "r" word – racism. No one wants to be the first to say it. No one wants to call a lynching a lynching.
Popular mythology tells us that lynching was done by mobs of "civilians". The truth of the matter is that - at least in the case of most killings of black people - this was and is systematic killing, sanctioned by, if not actually carried out by duly appointed representatives of the "law".  Of course if you say it you’re just being paranoid because of course "there must be more to the story." Just another way to say that if the police killed them they must have done something to deserve it. They must have deserved to have 13 police officers empty their guns into them, maybe more than once. People don’t get killed anymore just because they are black and in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just wish I could wear those blinders.

The reality is this – If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and lays duck eggs, it’s a duck and there is no more to the story. Until "nice" people stop ignoring it or trying to rewrite it, the story is not going to change. It will have the same ending. And we will continue to die.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rape and it's aftermath

With apologies to Kurt for stealing his title.

I've been remiss and several people have reminded me. Mea culpa! ;(

I have several things I have been thinking about lately as you all probably can imagine. I mean it's election season in the U.S. And what about that flawless uppercut lol! All kidding aside though. My friend Kurt posted on his blog about Senator Murdoch's comments regarding God and rape.  He's a good guy. It's worth reading what he has to say. Anyway, I posted my thoughts in the comments and would like to share them with you.

Senator Murdock, when asked whether abortion should be legal in cases of rape or incest responded as follows:
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,"

Ugh~! what an idiot, she says with a shudder.

I would like to think that Senator Murdock did not mean what he said exactly the way he said it. [But that's probably just my eternal optimism :)] I don't believe that God causes bad things to happen. I do believe that when bad things happen God can be there to help us through them and that good can come from it because of God's help and guidance. I also think that we don't always see what that is or will be. Pregnancy resulting from rape can be a particularly difficult issue. Any pregnancy takes a physical and emotional toll on a woman already. For nine months a rape victim would be reminded daily of the crime perpetrated against her and the person who did it. Not only was she raped but it didn't end when the actual act ended. For almost another year, her body is still not her own. Then there is the decision of whether to keep the child or put it up for adoption. Another emotional quagmire forced on the woman by the rapist. How do you separate your feelings about a child from your feelings about it's conception? There are women who can and do find the strength and faith to have and even keep children conceived from rape.  I absolutely celebrate and applaud the resilience and faith of those women. Their decision does not  come easy. The state cannot and does not give those women the resilience and faith they need. No legislation can tell a woman how to feel, or make her see the potential for God's grace in her situation, and because it can't, it also can't take away her choice.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jumping on the Whitney Bandwagon

I know it's been a while. I've been a bad girl, hopefully you won't be bored.

In case you have been under a rock for the past six days Whitney Houston is dead. I’ve listened to people talk about her and her life, her death, her talent etc. and decided I might as well put my two cents in.

First of all, I have to say my deepest sympathies go to Whitney’s family, particularly her children, who should not have to go through this on top of the chaos their life has already been. Okay, any Whitney worshipers might as well leave the room now.

I heard today sombody is going to fly the flag at half mast in her honor tomorrow. Well not to put to fine a point on it – why? Flying the flag at half mast is meant to honor political and civic leaders, military heroes or people who have made significant contributions to the advancement of civil society. Not to say that Whitney Houston was not talented (how talented is a matter of opinion) but political or civic leadership?, heroism? significant contributions? Let’s be truthful she was a singer. That’s what she did and it’s what she was known for. There are lots of ways in which any city can honor Whitney. Let’s find a way to honor and celebrate her that is appropriate to who and what she really was.
I cried a little when I heard the news, but my tears were for the loss her children and parents must feel, and the waste of potential. Whitney did not really do anything that hundreds of others have not and do not do. She sang songs to entertain us. I’m sure she worked hard but I don’t think she even contributed anything particularly new and innovative to her chosen field of endeavor. Not to say she might not have,  but so far as I can see - not so much. I don’t think she did anything more than walk through doors which several also talented women had already pried opened through blood, sweat and tears (shout out to Aretha, Billie, Ella, Etta, Tina etc.).

Ok here comes the inevitable comparison to Michael Jackson.  I don’t think flying the flag at half mast would have been any more appropriate then than it is now but I do think, in the grand scheme of things, Michael was probably more deserving. Michael was an innovator. He pioneered things in entertainment that people are still doing or trying to do 20 years later. He also was an incredible humanitarian giving and doing much to improve the lives of children all over the world – a lot of it not in the public eye.

Whitney was a talented but flawed human being. She was not someone who I would want my niece to emulate. She made bad choices in her life and wasted or destroyed a good deal of her potential. This is why I have a problem with the culture of celebrity. Just because someone is famous, or has a particular talent, we want to elevate them to hero status. Folks, we need to start looking at real heroes. Men and women who go to work every day to support their families, who try their hardest to raise productive, humane citizens of the world, all without being in the spotlight or getting any recognition. People who know, that while art can sustain us, there’s more to life than hitting a ball around or having a particular talent for music.

So yes, let’s mourn Whitney Houston. Mourn the woman who even though she did not come from the ghetto let the ghetto rule her life; who after several people tried to get her help would not or could not accept it; the woman who if she had been Whitney Houston from Garden Valley Estates would probably have seen her children in foster care; mourn the loss of a talent that gave millions of people great pleasure. Yes, let’s mourn her but let’s not, in mourning her, try to turn her into someone she was not or make her more than she was. Let's pray for her departed soul and for her fractured family. Let’s try to learn, from the lessons of her life and death, how to maybe keep someone else from going down the same sad and futile road and let that be our memorial to Whitney Houston.