Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sounds of Silence

Image from SodaHead

Warning: Some of this may be offensive to some readers. For example, the incredible misspellings in a quoted Facebook status. Or maybe even the notion that someone can be so young and so bigoted. Read at your discretion. goes.

I have been extremely unsettled since I read a young man's status post on Facebook the other day. He wrote - no, wait. Let me share an interesting post (yes, it is related; I am not going off on a tangent) I read at Militant Ginger: Why do Christians hate Gay People?

Don't feel like clicking the link and reading the whole piece? Okay, slacker, I'll give you a good quote from it:

While certain Christians were instrumental in securing Civil Rights for African-Americans, the core support for racial segregation across the United States came from the majority of 'decent,' normal, Church-going Americans. The same people who are now protesting against gay marriage.

In fact, the scriptural arguments were quite similar, too - with the 'mark of Cain' often being interpreted as dark skin, thereby offering scriptural evidence to support the assumption that black people were spiritually inferior to whites.

Such scriptural interpretations were clearly just cynical attempts to hide racism and bigotry behind the legitimacy of religion. I honestly don't see how the Christian position on homosexuality is any different today.

The recent case of Constance McKinnen's prom (Don't know what I'm talking about? Have you been living in a cave?) illustrated a depressing demonstration of hateful homophobia by Christian churchgoers. Go over to Wisenheimer for a funny take on this story. No, really, go over there now and read it. I will wait.

That Courtenay has a way with words, doesn't she? Yes, this is related to what I began telling you about. It's not a tangent, I swear.

Okay, now back to the Facebook kid. He was writing in response to the Day of Silence on April 16th. Don't know what that's about? Don't feel bad; I didn't either. Here's how the group sponsoring it describes their mission:

The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is a student-led day of action when concerned students take some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment -- in effect, the silencing -- experienced by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and their allies.

Sounds like a pretty damned good idea to me. I thought of my friend Mrs. Chili, and the posts she's done about the young men who were driven to suicide by such bullying. This is a worthy effort on behalf of a group who deserve better treatment. In the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., it was a good old fashioned non-violent protest. It was greeted by these compassionate words in this child's Facebook status:
Not participating in the Day Of Silence tomorrow. Honestly, there are bigger problems to rally for. 4,000 Children die every hour from starvation and I see no Day of Silence for THEM. Thousands of Christians and their families are tourtured, imprissoned, and killed every year and nobody says a word. But if gay couples aren't allowed to marry? OH NO!!! Lobby!!! Boycott!!! Rally!!!

I told you were were some serious misspellings. There is also a depressing lack of tolerance for his fellow man. What made it even more depressing to me was seeing that ten of his peers, including a girl I know, had clicked the "like" button. It shook me up to think that this girl agreed with such a bigoted view.

Kids, we need to respect each other. We can rally for more than one thing. We can help feed children and protect Christians from the lions and let gay folks get married. Of course, I'd argue that we should probably have fewer children so that there are not so many hungry mouths in the first place. But that's sort of a tangent. The point is that Christians should stop hating on gay people.

For some reason, I'm reminded of the poem "First they came" by Pastor Martin Niemoller. Often quoted, it describes the dangers of political apathy in response to fear and hatred which soon escalates out of control.

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."

My son heightened my sense of anxiety about this current of hatred in our country when he talked this evening at dinner. He mentioned things he'd read in the news about the rise of militia groups and the threat of civil unrest in this country.

But that's all fodder for another post. I'm worn out right now (as you've probably already surmised by the rambling incoherency of this post) by the thought of young people I have met who are bullying those who are unlike them. From the things I've read about Jesus, I don't think he'd cotton much to their actions. I'm headed to bed now, with visions of a Ricky Ricardo-like Jesus greeting them some day beside St. Peter at the pearly gates "Kids, you got a lotta 'splaining to do! What part of " but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" did you not understand?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

UPDATED!! Carry-on Douchebaggery is Afoot

tips and tricks about travel and the crazy business of travel
orig. from Blognonymous, which then switched to Ragebot - check them all out!

We rode Southwest Airlines to LAX on our recent trip to Disneyland. The fare was the cheapest and they don't charge for checked bags. I booked another trip elsewhere coming up and chose American because their fare was the same as Southwest's; I plan to only use carry-ons because they charge for checked bags.

But now my heart is filled with fear. I just read this story about an airline charging for carry-ons.


This part really kills me:

Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza said having fewer carry-on bags will help empty the plane faster. He said the idea is to get customers to pay for individual things they want, while keeping the base fare low.

"The beauty of it is they will do what they think is best for them and will now have the choice," he said.

The choice? How about the choice to not fly your feckin' airline, buddy? That's one choice this traveler will be exercising.

When we lived in Europe, Ryan Air was reknowned for super cheap fares. We flew them from Eire to the UK, and were amused at the attendants' antics hawking water for a euro, even selling lottery tickets and perfume to passengers. But this proposed policy goes beyond the pale. It's enough to make me say "Piss off!"

UPDATE! My second husband has a lot to say about this issue. Check him out at Colbert Nation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Altering the Course of My Generation

Funnel cakes. It's what's for dinner.

I haven't stepped on the scale since we returned from Disneyland, but I am officially ready to make some BIG changes around here. Sure, we walked our butts off for six days all over the Magic Kingdom, but we also ate Monte Cristo sandwiches, funnel cakes, ice cream sundaes and other treats. So our butts didn't actually get walked off. Nor did our guts. And I won't begin to tell you about my despair regarding my upper arms because some things should just remain private shames.

I'm not talking about Professor X (aka the Human Stringbean) or Super Son (who wants to tone up but is basically quite healthy). I am talking about beloved little daughter and me.

Today is the day I go to the grocery store and revolutionize how I shop. Veggies, lean meats, whole grains. And the day we go to the fitness center and begin healthy moves. My friends have been doing it for some time - running, shredding, working out and eating healthy. It's high time I jumped on the bandwagon. Or maybe it would be better to walk briskly alongside it. Heh! I might lose weight, but I will never lose my fabulous sense of humour.

I saw this today and wanted to share. I think it's inspiring!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Kindly pardon my recent lack of posts;
we've been off gallivanting.

Five points if you can identify this location.