Reconciliation: black & white, gays & the church

There were people who believed that once the bigots die off, then a more tolerant, more enlightened next generation would take over.

More questions from Arthur:

Do you personally chafe at the name “Liberal Christianity”, or do you see the name as a necessary counter-balance to the assumption that all Christians (Protestants in particular) are conservatives?

Interesting that after you asked the question, someone linked to Social Justice Is a Christian Tradition — Not a Liberal Agenda. The person who posted wrote: “Many Christians are wary of participating in social justice because of a deep-rooted fear of being labeled ‘liberal,’ ‘progressive,’ or ‘secular.'”

I replied: “I am a Christian, and I have ZERO fear of being labeled liberal, though I prefer progressive.” Yes, we need SOME designation to counter the narrative. You KNOW I’ve spent a lot of space in this blog both claiming my faith and saying, essentially, I’m not “like them,” so I’d rather make a positive assertion, rather than be anti a negative one.

I happen to believe actual Bible reading is likely to turn one into a liberal, unless you cherry-pick like the woman upbraided by President Bartlett on The West Wing.

Given how awful Christians—conservatives in particular, but even mainline Protestant churches—have treated LGBT people in the past (and fundamentalists still do), how do you think reconciliation could be achieved? Could that be a model for reconciling other segments of society that are divided because of past antipathy?

The churches that are accepting just DO it, not without a great deal of deliberation, mind you because that’s the Presby way. The Presbyterian Church USA has a More Light designation, which I happen to think is a terrible name, because almost no one outside the denomination gets the reference. But it involves providing an opportunity for full participation, from having LGBTQ pastors and lay leaders to same-gender marriage, conversation in adult education, and yes, participation in the gay rights parade, which, as I’ve noted in the past, is much more important now than ever, given the backlash. People will make mistakes in the process, but they need a safe space to do that.

The Daughter is not confused by her church friend who has two moms, e.g. A lot of the membership in my congregation is LGBTQ and the leadership of elders and deacons reflects that.

The United Methodist Church, of which I am a former member, has ducked the issue, for now, the last major Protestant denomination to do so, I think, fearing a schism. But the schism will happen whether they vote yea or nay in 2020.

Let me throw in a question from Reader Wil here:

How do we have to deal with racists? Whenever I want to tell about people who are discriminated against, there is always someone who denies it.

Oy, that IS a tough nut to crack. Lots of people seem to think that racism is over when I see no evidence of that being true, in the United States at least. I know I was more hopeful eight years ago than now. In the US, even the systems that had protected voting rights based on race – Congress and the courts – have let us down.

One of the great things I’ve seen, though, since Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement, is the sheer number of WHITE people who seem to “get” it, that mass incarceration hurts not just the black community but all of us. It has always been thus, the need for white allies (or straight allies or male allies).

There were people who believed that once the bigots die off, a more tolerant, more enlightened next generation would take over. That may still be the case, but it’s going to take longer than I would like. Race, and specifically black/white in America, has a long historic framework. Just as you think you’ve torn it down here (Confederate flag moved from the SC capitol), it rises up there (the racist, often pro-Agent Orange tirades, post-election.)

I’ll say this: it’s heartening when white people talk about white privilege because it says that the problem of racism is NOT a black problem, it’s everyone’s problem. After the nine people were killed in a Charleston, SC church, the congregations of a couple of churches in that city, one black, one white, but with a common history, started meeting together, and it created greater understanding. THAT’S reconciliation, and we need more of that.

But it’ll be a slow go. Especially when courses designed to address the issue are fought.

I know it’s not much, but we have to keep on keeping on, embracing the “other,” as often as we can. I’m impressed how, in New Zealand, people of every ethnicity have adopted some Maori terms. I can’t imagine a lot of American people using some native American culture – “talk American!” – other than to denigrate it, but maybe I’m too cynical.

October Rambling: artist Indigo Anderson; Arthur and Nigel get married

Olivia Pope’s dad reminds us of black parents’ favorite expressions. But I DON’T think they are limited to black parents.

Amen, 39.

The Perfect Epitaph for Establishment Journalism: “In other words, if the government tells me I shouldn’t publish something, who I am as a journalist to disobey? Put that on the tombstone of western establishment journalism.”

I just don’t have the energy to blast the jerks responsible for the 16-day US federal government partial shutdown. Fortunately, Dan is both willing and able to do so.

Reader Wil: After our time as p.o.w.’s in Japanese concentration camps, we were liberated by the British. Two months after the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we could escape a new danger.

Arthur and Nigel got married today. Or yesterday – that New Zealand time zone stuff always confounds me. Arthur’s observations before the big day. (I still think it’s because of the broken stemware.) Congratulations!

Amy’s Sharp Little Pencil wrote The Migraine Speaks (much to my dismay) and In the Palm of God’s Hand.

Mark Evanier’s Tales of My Childhood #3, which made me cry.

Leslie on setting boundaries as a teacher.

Steve ponders The Things We Say When Drunk.

Young Indigo Anderson is passionate about manga, anime, cosplay and making comics. “That is why when her tenth grade AP World History teacher asked for a paper about the relationship between North and South Korea, she requested to do it as a comic.

“Give plenty of credit to her teacher for allowing her the opportunity! The result titled North and South is a wonderfully succinct, heartfelt, eight-page insight to a piece of history that continues to impact the entire world even today.”

I was in Bill and Orchid Anderson’s wedding in 1997, and Indigo may have been the youngest attendee at Carol’s and my wedding in 1999.

Esteemed Comic Artist Stephen R Bissette Educates and Amuses University Audience. One of the joys of blogging is giving props to your friends.

Speaking of friends, MIGHTY Q&A: Fred Hembeck from 13th Dimension.

Superman 75th Anniversary.

How were animated cartoons made in the thirties? This is an episode of a travelogue-type series narrated by the great broadcaster, Lowell Thomas. He takes us to the Walter Lantz cartoon studio.

Dustbury pointed me to Grace Braeger Has Been Driving The Same Car For Fifty-Six Years. We Asked Her Why.

How DID they make that Honda CR-V commercial? I think its really cool.

Why you may never see the definitive Shel Silverstein biography

10 Mind-Boggling Thought Experiments

Olivia Pope’s dad reminds us of black parents’ favorite expressions. But I DON’T think they are limited to black parents.

Ken Levine on writing for Barney Miller, which may be the most underrated TV show ever.

Speaking of cop shows, 27 Actors Who Got Their Starts on Miami Vice.

The Ghost of Stephen Foster by the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and the cartoon is marvelous.

The History of Music Media: Infographic.

A song from Carole King’s Tapestry, an album I’ve only purchased thrice. Plus a saudade for Patsy Cline, and other music stars who died too soon.

From BoingBoing: Singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, and artist Lou Reed has died.

From Nippertown: Vancouver musician Michelle Kwan plays Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” on an ancient Chinese stringed instrument known as a guzheng. Also, Stephen Clair’s “Love Makes Us Weird”.

History of lyrics that aren’t lyrics.

Chuck Miller: When “The War of the Worlds” played in Albany

Crease and Desist and The Down Rule.

Are Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine?
Jaquandor picked such great links last week, especially about writing, that you might as well visit them all.


Dustbury: “Roger on the dodgy subject of avoiding conflict.”
SamuraiFrog: “Roger recently did a post about his favorite albums of the 50s, in which he name-checked me, and I figured that I’d try and come up with a list for myself.” (I LOVE this post.)


Colonel Roger Green (National Disaster Medical Systems for the 5501st U. S. Army Hospital), son of the late Rev. Reubin Green and Daisy Green has been awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service with the U.S. Army spanning more than 30 years.

Closure…or Not

While some Republicans congratulated Obama, others praised GW Bush for using Gitmo as an intelligence source, while pointedly ignoring Obama’s role.

I woke up ridiculously early Monday morning, around 3:50 a.m., and just could not get back to sleep, so I went to the computer. Ah, Bin Laden’s dead. Hmm. Where’s my fist pump? Maybe I’m still too tired.

I came across Kevin Marshall’s piece, which was entitled “No closure from Osama bin Laden’s death”, and even before I read the actual piece, I realized that he was on the right track. Key half-sentence: “I became confused as to why I didn’t feel that level of joy that everyone else seemed to be expressing.” It reminded me of what I wrote about the execution of Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber.

Then I went to Reader Wil’s page. She said, “…People are glad that this cruel man is dead. Isn’t it terrible that we should be glad that somebody is killed, even if he deserved it? It asks for revenge and hatred. The death of any tyrant is cause for satisfaction for one group and cause for fury, anger, and revenge for his friends.” Sounds about right.

The next stop was Mark Evanier’s post: “Boy, it’s nice to see America so happy. This country has been in bad need of a hug for a long time and the killing of Osama Bin Laden seems to be it, at least in some quarters.” Yeah, I saw the celebrations in New York and DC and elsewhere, but is AMERICA happy? And if America’s so happy, why aren’t I?

After finally going to sleep and too soon getting up again, I started reading more responses. Newsmax echoed Evanier’s point: “Bin Laden Death Gives US Reason to Cheer,” to get us out our “surly” state over “rising gas prices, stubbornly high unemployment and nasty partisan politics”. Wow – now I can ignore the $4.159 per gallon gasoline, up six cents just this week, at the local station.

So I watch the Today show and read more stories and find the samo samo. While some Republicans congratulated Obama, others praised GW Bush for using Gitmo as an intelligence source, while pointedly ignoring Obama’s role. Meanwhile, someone was blathering about the liberals and the Ground Zero site, and I tuned out. And speaking of nasty partisan politics

Let me be clear: I’ll shed no tears for Osama bin Ladin. But this paragraph in David Sirota’s article in Salon rings too true: “This is bin Laden’s lamentable victory: He has changed America’s psyche from one that saw violence as a regrettable-if-sometimes-necessary act into one that finds orgasmic euphoria in the news of bloodshed. In other words, he’s helped drag us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history — the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.” I also noticed Jack Bauer, the fictional character from the TV show 24, was tracking on Twitter, and I knew for sure that this one death is no cure-all.
Steve Bissette’s rant, Part 1 and Part 2. And on a lighter note, how the former Kate Middleton helped to do in Usama.

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