Thursday, March 31, 2011

No cringe of self-judgment

Yeah, it's been a while. I didn't post last weekend because I spent part of Friday and all day Saturday at a handbell festival in Lansing. 350 handbell ringers playing together is a cool sound. The ringers were amused that we shared a convention center with a Japanese anime convention and many of those participants came in costume. I spent part of Sunday catching up on sleep, then scrambling to prepare for this week's classes.

Of course, I have quite a backlog of things that I'd like to talk about. Much of it will only get a brief mention, if that. So today I'll concentrate on the brief mentions.

Last year NARAL (an abortion rights group) tracked 174 anti-abortion bills through Congress and various legislatures. The tally for this year is 351 and we're only a quarter of the way into the year! They note that the GOP has nothing to lose by such an onslaught. A few are bound to be enacted and the huge number that aren't at least advertise the GOP position.

And the "pro-choice" and "feminist" Democratic president and party? If you're really quiet you might hear a response.

This one from Slate:

Murray Richmond is a Presbyterian pastor who changed his mind about homosexuality. He wrote about his internal conflict while repeating the church doctrine he no longer trusted. He was annoyed that gays became The Issue that got in the way of so many other worthwhile things. His story is worth reading. This paragraph explains a lot about Fundies. He asks why gays have become such a litmus test for Christians.

One reason, I think, is that it's easy to condemn homosexuality if you are not gay. It is much harder than condemning pride, or lust or greed, things that most practicing Christians have struggled with. It is all too easy to make homosexuality about "those people," and not me. If I were to judge someone for their inflated sense of pride, or their tendency to worship various cultural idols, I would feel some personal stake, some cringe of self-judgment. Not so with homosexuality.

Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, has announced he is exploring running for the GOP nomination for president. Here are 10 reasons -- 10 anti-gay things he has said or done -- why I won't ever vote for him.

Troy Ard was elected to be the chairman of the Colorado College Republicans last year. A worthy question: why is that notable? He's openly gay. And he was elected unanimously. In the home state of Focus on the Family. A sign of the progress we've made. So it's not too much of a surprise that he has stated his support for the state's civil unions bill that is currently being debated in the legislature.

Rabbi Jonathan Singer leads a big Reformed Synagogue in Seattle. He is also a big gay advocate, taking strong political stands and helping gay organizations promote pro-gay legislation and defeat anti-gay efforts. He is one reason why Washington State is so gay friendly now. Here is an interview with him and he says some very nice things.

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