Friday, November 30, 2007

We don't trust the Holy Spirit.

I've started reading a book about spiritual gifts. I'm only to page 22, so I don't have a lot to say about it, though it prompted some thoughts that have been rolling around in my brain for a while. The book opens with a discussion of life in the 1st Century church in which members learn to use the gifts of the Spirit for the benefit of the community. Each one has a part to play and each is considered equal to the others. They are all working towards a common goal.

By the end of the 2nd century the church has two classes of members: clergy and laity. The laity are considered to be not all that important and their gifts of the Spirit are ignored. The church has taken on a secular organization that is not suited to its goals and it will be hampered by that organization. We don't trust the Holy Spirit.

The laity gained some importance beginning with the Reformation in the 16th Century. The importance of spiritual gifts in clergy and laity has gained prominence in the church since the 1950s. But we still don't trust the Holy Spirit.

As part of my efforts to battle the church over the issue of homosexuality I have written letters to the denomination newspaper/magazine here in Michigan saying that for an organization that is based on the grace of Christ we are spending way too much time enforcing the rules. Responses to my letters almost always contain the thought, "If we don't enforce the rules what do we stand for?" I claim we should stand for the love of Christ, but that doesn't get very far.

Through further reading of the bible and other books I've come to understand how things should work. As one reads and studies the bible, prays, listens to sermons, and interacts with other people one is taught by the Holy Spirit (usually through a gentle nudge after an interaction goes wrong) on how to lead a loving life.

But we don't trust the Holy Spirit. We become frightened when the Spirit prompts us to head off in directions in which "We've Never Done It That Way Before." We become incensed when someone who had committed a grievous offense doesn't get the smite from God as quickly as thoroughly as we demand. We are convinced certain behavior just has to be sinful yet someone claims the Spirit prompted them to do it. We can't verify the source of such promptings. We are much more comfortable with a list of dos and don'ts than with the claim that the Spirit will teach us if we just give him time. It is much easier to gauge if another person is Christian by that list than by personal promptings of a Spirit who gifts us individually. The institutional church, even with a structure that inhibits its message, won't easily give up its power, even to the Holy Spirit. In an age that pits the religious against the scientific we discourage our spiritual sides to avoid being seen as a bit loopy. We don't trust the Holy Spirit.

How to strengthen that trust will have to wait until I've done more reading.

1987? Or 2007? A Second Look

Now that I've had some time to do some web browsing I have an update to my post of a couple days ago about the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act that passed the House with an overwhelming majority. There are, of course, differing views on what it all means.

From Dahlia Lithwick at Slate: No need to get alarmed, the bill is actually harmless. It doesn't allow the government to go after terrorists, it merely sets up commissions to study terrorists. In particular, how those with extreme ideas turn violent. Even more specific, the area if inquiry is how the internet is used to encourage those with extreme ideas to become violent and how to carry out that violence. On the good side the bill has sunset clauses. Well, yeah, the commission will propose new laws on how to curb terrorism and those might curb free speech, but we can fight those battles when the time comes. It is good for a change to see a government that is very good at throwing real power behind pretend problems (Iraq and Guantanemo) to throw pretend power at a pretend problem.

Naturally, others aren't convinced.

Amy Goodman at Democracy Now interviewed Jessica Lee of the Indypendent and Kamau Karl Franklin of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even for a course of study the definitions of violent terrorism are amazingly broad. Laws that come from the commission will also have broad definitions. The gov't can say "You threatened to use force and we don't like your ideas. You're a terrorist." Though the bill implies, and it's author's commentary states, the target would be Islamic jihadists, the bill is actually sponsored (if not written) by the Rand Corporation, in which the target is the anti-globalization crowd (who have shown willingness to use force). I'm sure there is special significance that the Rand Corp. is a driving force, though I don't know what that is. One of the recommendations of the commission is likely to be putting national filters onto Islamist terrorist sites as well as on sites the gov't doesn't approve of (one wonders how that could be accomplished, but that won't stop lawmakers from trying). Even if it is just a study there are practical and ethical concerns of studying a group so that when the study ends you know the best way to shut them down. In an 18 month study, even if you do get "inside" some of these organizations, how well do you really understand the complex issues?

The source of the original posting:

We blew it

The Letters page in Newsweek (alas, no link) has reactions to the article about how 1968 was a defining year that still strongly affects the nation (certainly national politics). One letter has this idea: In 1968 we were a the cusp of real change, of ending poverty, protecting the environment, refusing war, ending racism. And we didn't. Instead, the radicals of the 60s are the establishment of today, not blinking at Cheney's request of phone records and dismissing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan as an overwrought mom. It was all within our reach and we blew it. No wonder we're so apathetic.

Art in Detroit, a gem of a museum

Even Newsweek had a big article about the reopening of the Detroit Institute of Arts! In addition to expanded gallery space the whole purpose and presentation of the museum has been reworked, making it all much more friendly to the novice. I wandered through the DIA for 5 hours last Friday during their free-admission Open House. I'm quite impressed with what I saw. Though I gave many galleries only a cursory glance and looked at just the highlights in several others I went through the American Art section slowly, savoring many of the paintings. The American landscape paintings were especially captivating, and were talking only the eastern part of the country. Well worth a visit.


Did you know that most of us are homo-socksuals? We wear the same kind of socks on both feet. Alas, hetero-socksuals, with a different kind of sock on each foot, must not wear shorts. Enjoy the theological implications -- and the fun -- here:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

1984? Or 2007?

This one is truly scary. A Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act has already passed the US House (by a vote of 404 to 6 -- meaning lots of Democrats support it) and is now before the Senate, where it looks to get broad support. It is being ignored by the press. This act creates "a congressional commission that will be empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as 'homegrown terrorists.' The commission will be tasked to propose new legislation that will enable the government to take punitive action against both the groups and the individuals who are affiliated with them." It does not define terrorism other than saying it has to do with an extremist belief system, and that term is not defined. That means anything outside what the commission defines as anti-American. The likely target is Muslims, but can include such things as anti-tax agitators, immigration protesters, peace demonstrators, and anti-abortion protesters. And those promoting the Homosexual Agenda. In addition, the Internet is cited as a conduit for terrorist ideas. So you better not read my blog. This one is worth a call or letter to your senator. Give me a day or two and I might have a sample letter to share.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dealing with Contradictions

An ambigram is an image that can be perceived in two or more ways and those ways are contradictory. Many of the images created by M.C. Escher are ambigrams and this link has an image of a very good one. Can you see both sides of the contradiction at once or are you able to see only one aspect at a time? Does it take you a while to make sense of it? This is the binding effect. The idea of an ambigram can be extended to non-visual contradictions and in those cases the language used to describe the situation plays a big part in how the ambigram is perceived -- which explains why "spin" works. We're the good guys. They're terrorists. We as a nation have a huge ambigram in front of us. Bush says we don't torture, we only use aggressive questioning. Evidence contradicts him. But what does an ongoing ambigram do to our collective national psyches? It can't be healthy.

The men's room is that way

Some on the Right are now pushing the scary idea that the only reason why transgender men want to transition to female is so that they have an excuse to use the female bathroom and cause all kinds of mayhem while there. Never mind that men who rape are never found to be wearing women's clothing (the crime is about male dominance) and such bathroom crimes haven't actually occurred. Somehow, though, being transgender is about the bathroom.

In 3 parts:

Pesky questions for GOP

Several weeks ago the Democratic prez debate featured questions gathered through YouTube. Now it’s the GOP's turn to face the video generation. Some of the questions will be juicy and I suspect they may not get used. Two examples:

* Billy Bean, gay baseball player, asks, "Will you discourage people from using their religious beliefs as a way to justify discrimination against citizens like me?"

* Chris Dodd, Dem candidate for prez: "What do you plan to do to restore the Constitution in the aftermath of the Bush Administration's false choice of security vs. giving up individual rights?"

Could be fun.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lie? Not here

Bush is accused of lying and the media yawns. Scott McClellan, Bush press secretary, has a new book coming out soon about the Valerie Plame investigation. In promoting the book McClellan said he had "unknowingly passed along false information" to divert investigators from Rove. The false info was given to the investigators and apparently came from Bush. Clinton's actual impeachment crime was perjury. Now, Bush didn't lie under oath, but an oath isn't necessary when feeding information to investigators. Scandal? No scandal here. Move along.

A Midas Touch

It seems that every foreign leader who supported Bush in the Iraq war has been thrown out of office. It looks like Bush has a reverse Midas Touch when it comes to dealing with his allies. So far voters have rejected Berlusconi in Italy, Anzar in Spain, Blair in Britain, and Kaczynski in Poland. Bush's most faithful boot-licker, John Howard of Australia, was sent packing last week. The most significant system of military alliances, in place since Truman, is now gone. Rubbing salt in the wounds Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury (head of the Anglican Church) and with sterling conservative social credentials, has said that Bush's attempts at overseas interventions are worse the Britain's at the height of its Empire days. At least England installed a working government in India.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What I want a Democrat to be.

A posting in one of my favorite blogs laments that Democrats aren't what they used to be and asks the question: What does it mean to be a Democrat?

Most of the responses discuss what Dems are at the moment. This is my list of what I think Democrats should be.

A Democrat is someone who…

* will help the little guy to have a fighting chance against the big guy (and the corporation).

* helps the downtrodden get a second (and third) chance.

* promotes improved living for everyone, including through education and health care.

* believes in tolerance and is welcome to a variety of ways of living.

* believes in truth and openness (yeah, I know sometimes government needs to keep secrets, but I want my Democrat to take the opposite stance from Bush).

* believes a woman is not a slave to any man.

* promotes equality of law no matter the difference.

* recognizes the urgency of taking care of the environment and fosters clean business practices.

* is fiscally responsible, unwilling to saddle future generations with our extravagance.

* does not weigh down business with unnecessary burdens.

* recognizes that diplomacy is far superior to war.

* respects religion, allowing each to believe (or not) as they see fit.

* understands the Constitution and its balance of power and seeks to uphold it.

* understands the value and integrity of science, how science works, and what science can and cannot accomplish.

* understands we're all in this together.

* has strength to stand firm on his convictions.

Quiz question for today: How many of those traits listed above are Christian (referring to what Christ taught, not what the Right has twisted it into)?

The question was first stated at another website:

Senator Diane Feinstein of California broke from Democratic ranks and voted for A.G. Mukasey and bigoted judge Southwick. Over 34 thousand Democratic Californians are disgusted with her votes and wanted the California Democratic Party to censure Feinstein. Now they are disgusted with the party because the censure motion was never brought up at their meeting. This website allows you to send your own definition of a Democrat to Feinstein and the CDP. Warning: the autoreply email will ask for a donation.


One of the comments in the first link above has this idea:

The Neocons, who were instrumental to getting Bush elected and who drive at least his foreign policy have effectively equated learning from experience and changing ones mind to the heinous crime of flip-flopping. Is this why Bush can't admit to his mistakes in Iraq?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Politicians won't do it without a shove

John Conyers is back in the local news. Cindy Sheehan, rabble rouser for the end of the war was given an award from the Cranbrook Peace Foundation. Introducing her was -- John Conyers. Strange since Sheehan held a demonstration in July at Conyers' office for refusing to hold impeachment hearings. Her message: politicians won't do it on their own, so we need to force them to do what is right. Enough of the Democrat's ineffective attempts to end the war (and they know they're ineffective) through troop withdrawal provisions in spending bills. There are better ways: refuse the bills outright or, better yet, impeach. Conyers is still mum. Time to tell him to get off his ass. I've sent my letter (and will gladly provide a copy to anyone who wants to provide their own). Conyers Detroit phone is: 313-961-5670.

That's Entertainment

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have a speech at Wayne State University a couple weeks ago (alas, I didn't attend). He was eloquent enough for people to wonder why he wasn't running for president, following in the footsteps of his father. A quote from the speech. In agency after agency, lobbyists representing corporations have been put into positions to regulate the industries they came from. Why? The blame is partly on a "negligent and indolent press that has simply let down American democracy. … We are the best-entertained, least-informed people on earth."

Interpreting the Bible on homosexuality

The latest noise in the ongoing Anglican-Episcopalian debate on homosexuality prompted an article in the Chicago Tribune about what the Bible says on the issue and how the Bible should be read. "We don't worship the Bible, we worship Jesus Christ," says Rev. William Persell, Chicago's outgoing Episcopal bishop. The Bible is a core document and if we find internal disagreements or if we disagree with Paul or Leviticus we need to come back to Jesus for a conversation about those passages, says Liz Stedman, a lesbian pastor. While the body of the article counters some of the passages, it ends with a bare listing of the problematic 7 verses. Alas, it doesn't offer alternative definitions of many of them. For the record:

Genesis 2:21-25: Saying that male and female is needed to create life and straight marriage is the norm for 95% of the population says nothing about the morality of gay relations practiced by maybe 5% of the population.

Sodom and Gomorrah: Elsewhere in the bible the crime is said to be inhospitality to strangers, not amoral sex.

Leviticus: The people who trumpet this one don't follow anything else in Leviticus and can't say why this is the only one that must be followed. Besides, Jesus says salvation is through him, not the law.

Romans 1:26-28: The quote is missing the leading "Therefore" which means much of this perversion is a result of disobeying God. It does not say loving same-gender couples are automatically perverted.

Corinthians 6:9: "Homosexual offenders" is a mis-translation of a Greek word whose true meaning is unknown.

Timothy 1:10: Huh? Doesn't even mention gays, unless we are lumped under "perverts" and that cannot be assumed. Another case of bad translation.,0,6677080.story

Details of my rebuttal at:

Secular Rapture

An example of government that doesn't work: There are now companies that will take care of you when disaster strikes. Spray your house (and only yours) with fire retardant when San Diego County is swept with flames. Evacuate you by helicopter to 5-star resorts when hurricanes loom. Use connections to a national disaster center for warnings and supply you with food, water, housing (no doubt plush), and medical attention during man-made (terrorist) or natural disasters. No need for a heavenly rapture, the secular version is here now, if you've got the bucks. But wasn't this what government was supposed to do, and do it for everyone?

Anybody out there?

If you're reading this I'd appreciate a comment saying you're out there. I'd also like to hear about topics of interest.

Princesses, travel, politics, hunger -- a roundup from Newsweek

A collection of articles from Newsweek (the issue dated Nov. 26, 2007):

Just because it is cool and the article is insightful… Amazon is offering an electronic replacement for the book. Even so, at this price I'll probably wait awhile before getting one.

On facing pages there are opinion pieces from Karl Rove (eww) and Markos Moulitsas (known for his Democratic political blog dailykos). I didn't bother to read Rove's (nor will I link to it, besides another commentator described it as a "snore"). The other one harkens back to Reagan, who said, "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Since then the GOP has been electing people who believe that government won't work. Surprise, we're getting government that doesn't work. So Dems can not only run against Bush but should also say he is a product of GOP policies.

Disney has a new big line of products under the name of Princess that allows women (not just girls) to be the heroine like Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, and Ariel. But there is a subtle twist as shown in the stage version of "Little Mermaid" coming to Broadway soon. Instead of waiting for Prince Eric to dispatch the evil Ursula, Ariel does it herself. The new movie "Enchanted" also plays up the independent woman (as it skewers every princess cliché in the book). A big part of the Princess line is wedding gowns modeled on the outfits of the above characters that will make your wedding a fairy tale event.

International travel has increased around the globe -- except to the USA. For example, British travel to America declined 11% in spite of the dropping dollar, but Brits to India has increased 102%. The reason is the Department of Homeland Security is very slow in issuing visas and travelers go home with horror stories on how they are treated by customs officials. Congress has tried to improve the situation but no official wants to be the one who stamped the passport of a terrorist.

A look at Rudy Giuliani and the people around him. It seems that he is like a mafia don who is loyal to loyalty, not to the talents of the people around him.

Want to twist the tail of the Right? Here's a study that looks at whether early teenage sex (say, at age 14) is detrimental. Finding: kids who engage in early sex have "lower levels of delinquency and antisocial behavior a few years later, not more." This is a part of the debate of whether early life disadvantages forever plague the child.

Anna Quindlen has a wonderful commentary. Food and money to places that feed the hungry are dropping, down more than 50% from a few years ago. Reasons range from cuts in government spending to better quality control that eliminates battered boxes and dented cans. Even though we could eliminate most hunger with the amount of money that could be considered rounding errors in the Federal Budget we as a nation have a hard time admitting to hunger. That makes it nearly impossible for a candidate to run on the issue. So even though "you can't get more Biblical than feeding the hungry" (Matthew 25:31 and following), the God Talk we hear is on school prayer instead of hungry students, beginning of life instead of the end of poverty, private behavior instead of public generosity. Want to talk about bedrock God stuff? Try charity, mercy, the least of our brethren. Feed the hungry, comfort the weary, soothe the afflicted.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Health care for...

Three GOP prez candidates have survived cancer -- McCain, Thompson, and Giuliani. All three propose ways to increase health insurance coverage, but none of these will be of any help to other cancer survivors who have to buy individual policies. Insurance companies can reject patients that aren't healthy (and having had cancer certainly is that), or set rates so high they aren't affordable.;jsessionid=DA4DDD9F41C2938F5A874EC56739E8F0?diaryId=3727

The GOP complains about the specter of socialized, government run medicine. But we have that already. It's called Medicare. I firmly believe the solution to health care can be summed up in the phrase "Medicare for all." However, that pulls the plug on all health insurance companies and they aren't going to let go of the cow they've been milking without a big fight. Candidates aren't going to want to give up the money that comes their way from that cow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quote of the Day -- Desmond Tutu

"Our world is facing problems - poverty, HIV and AIDS - a devastating pandemic, and conflict...God must be weeping looking at some of the atrocities that we commit against one another. In the face of all of that, our Church, especially the Anglican Church, at this time is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality

...It is a perversion if you say to me that a person chooses to be homosexual. You must be crazy to choose a way of life that exposes you to a kind of hatred. It's like saying you choose to be black in a race infected society."
-- South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking to the BBC on the Anglican church's fixation on homosexuality

Tilting at windmills

Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church and rabid homophobe has taken on Microsoft. Good luck dude. Several years ago Hutcherson persuaded Microsoft to not support a pro-gay bill in Washington State. The law was narrowly defeated and Microsoft was hit with a huge gay protest, especially from its internal gay organizations. That bill has since become law with Microsoft's help and two Hutcherson attempts to overturn it have fallen flat. So Hutcherson made a stink at the Microsoft shareholder meeting, calling on the company to end its LGBT support. Not only did the board ignore him, another shareholder asked the board how the rest of the shareholders could support Microsoft's pro-gay policies. Answer: when such policies come up for a vote, approve them. Last year they did and passed with 97%. Hutcherson has now vowed that he and his supporters will hit Microsoft with a "firestorm" by buying enough stock that they can force a different outcome. Um, dude, for 50% of the shares that will cost you $159 billion.

Main story:

Comments about the price:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Case for Impeachment

A few days ago I came across a couple articles having to do with the prospect of impeaching Bush and Cheney. This is what I emailed at the time:

A new poll of registered voters has a result that is both wonderful and disturbing. The wonderful part is 64% say that Bush has abused his powers as president and 55% say that the abuses are serious enough to warrant impeachment. What's not to like? 21% (included in the 55%) say that while Bush committed impeachable offenses he should not be impeached. That's what's disturbing. Has our morality been so twisted that we're all hot and bothered about law and order issues, ready to impose death penalties, yet many of us think the prez is guilty of some pretty serious crimes and don't want to prosecute him?

As for Cheney, 70% believe he has abused power, 52% think he deserves impeachment and only 9% (included in 52%) think he has committed impeachable offenses but should be given a pass.
A summary:
The raw numbers, including candidate standings:

An organization called Peace Action celebrated its 50th anniversary (so why haven't I heard of them?) and Rep. John Conyers attended the Detroit chapter banquet. The Keynote Speaker, Randi Rhodes, listed Bush's failures then noted that Dennis Kucinich last week introduced another bill to impeach Cheney. Before Pelosi could kill it some House GOPs supported it as a way to embarrass Pelosi (strange how politics works) and as a joke. That means the bill will go to Conyers' Judiciary Committee. Conyers has been the one to gather documents that would be used in impeachment proceedings, but has refused to act on them since Dems took House leadership. Asked what would happen to the Kucinich bill Conyers was evasive -- but did not say he would kill it. Perhaps it is time to tell Conyers what he should do with the impeachment bill -- act on it!

A friend with similar view of our government responded:

While I lust for a pound of Cheney's and Bush's political hides as never before, impeachment would be a mistake. All the voters who poll "impeach" will vote next year for change. Starting the impeachment engine would divert all that energy into "Democrats seeking [well-deserved] revenge for the abuse of Bill Clinton" and that would fix Hillary in the media headlights for the wrong reasons.

So, my lust remains a nice simmering fury with a long memory.

Here is my response to him:

It is rare that I disagree with you so completely.

Fortunately, I can respond from the comfort of my own home with time to think through my arguments and to look up what I written in the past. So you're going to get the full benefit of all that thinking.

Have Bush and Cheney committed "high crimes" according to the Constitution? In addition to our opinions in the matter, the evidence mounts that they have. I could go into details, but I don't think that's what this discussion is about. Let me know if you want those details.

They have committed high crimes. They should be impeached, tried, and removed from office. Period. My morality is flexible, but not that flexible. This is too important.

I don't want Bush (and Cheney) to continue to do what he is doing. Yes, I know it is only 14 months, but Bush has shown he can get into a frightful amount of mischief in that amount of time.

I don't want another president to do or condone what he is doing. He (and the GOP) has remained unchallenged in his nastiness. Many GOP congressmen have shown they are quite willing to keep doing all kinds of mischief because the Dems won't simply say it is wrong. Impeachment is a way to define what the presidency is and isn't as well as defining what is acceptable behavior and what isn't.

Bush was elected on a platform of values and places himself as a beacon of morality, yet is the most immoral president we've had. Even without that contradiction I don't want Bush to be a continuing example of morality in this country. Lots of people (lawmakers to corporate CEOs) see that Bush is getting away with it, they can too. I don't want to see his kind of amorality emulated and cherished.

I am disgusted with the argument that having Bush around as a whipping boy increases the chance of Dems sweeping the government a year from now. As much as I despise the GOP having Dems willing to use the death of the Constitution as a convenient way to gain power is just as despicable. Having Dems with insufficient backbone (which they, alas, have demonstrated many times) to say that a proposed bill or action is unconstitutional isn't a recommendation to give them power. I would have much more respect for and be more inclined to vote for Hillary (or any other Dem) if they left their calculations behind and said that Bush is wrong, he is hurting bedrock principles and institutions, he should be removed, even if it hurts the Democratic chances. That person would show values worthy of leading the country and world. That Dem would certainly gain the respect of the world.

Will the GOP raise a stink? No question. They're masters at that game. It is time the Dems stood up to it, doing something not because of politics but because it is right. That ideal is way too rare in this country.

Now back to the pragmatic side. If indeed 55% of voters think Bush has committed impeachable offenses (and that's 70% for Cheney) going through with impeachment won't give the Dems the black eye you think it would.

He responded:

Very good arguments, principled and well grounded in morality. I'll give them more thought. I'm no happier with these Democrats than you are nor confident of them.

Let me introduce myself

About the time in late 2003 that the Massachusetts Supreme Court told that state's legislature it had to create gay marriage I started sending out email to various friends and family with summaries of noteworthy news stories with links to the actual articles. As I told various people about my orientation and the news articles became more interesting the emails became more frequent, though rarely more than once a day.

Over time my focus shifted from general news (it became tedious to mention one more state working on a marriage protection amendment) to a perusal of interesting ideas floating around the web. My postings will still contain summaries of such articles and stories and many will also contain my thoughts about what has been written.

I had been quite content to continue with email until my niece wrote to say she would rather read a blog than to get more email. When her mother (my sister-in-law) also suggested I start a blog because she thought my commentaries were well written I seriously began to consider it. And so I have begun.

I won't be leaving a lot of personal details in my blog. I have a brother who married into the Catholic faith and I fear that if his wife learned I am gay she would deny me the privilege of being an uncle to her delightful children. It was only after he and his family moved out of state did I finally come out to other family members. My parents and other siblings now know, as do a few friends.

Another reason for being anonymous is because I am also a leader in my local church. While my pastor knows I am gay (and he gets some of my emails) no one else in my congregation does. However, I am working behind the scenes to make the congregation (at least) a bit more gay friendly. This is a mainline denomination that has some policies against gays (can't be a pastor and have a same-gender life partner), but isn't fundamentalist.

I will be looking at our culture as if from the vantage point of a crow's nest. I am most interested in issues related to gays (obviously) as well as religion, and the strange noises coming out of Washington because that is where much of the anti-gay fuel comes from. I may share stories of my small attempts at gay activism. As with any blog, I may veer off into other directions.

Welcome. Let me know if you are out there.

The Crow