Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Command to Open Our Hands and American Exceptionalism: Marilynne Robinson on the Real Roots of American Christianity

On this American holiday centered on giving thanks, Marilynne Robinson's words in her essay entitled "Open Thy Hand Wide: Moses and the Origin of American Liberalism" spring back to mind:

Thanksgiving As Giving: Recommending to You Today a Local Group Supporting LGBT Youth

You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be (Deuteronomy 15:8)

For those celebrating a holiday centered on thanksgiving today (and I realize that much of the world isn't in that category), here's a story that may be of some interest — since giving thanks is about giving first and foremost. It's by giving to others that we open the spaces in our hearts and lives that enable us to be thankful, it seems to me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ferguson Again: Why Things Are Burning

And, no, I can't let this day pass without sharing more excerpts from articles I've found well worth reading, about the Ferguson story. Because it's simply too important to ignore, no matter how much  my harping on it may irritate some readers of this blog:

Talk About Ex-Gay Conversion Therapy Not Working: Update on John Smid Story

I've blogged about John Smid and his remarkable story a few times in the past — here and here. As these postings note, Smid previously headed a faith-based "ex-gay" program in Memphis called Love in Action. He and the program came on the radar screen of many folks in 2005 when Zach Stark, a young teen, was sent to the program by his parents against his will, and cried out for help online. 

Pigs Seen Flying: Mississippi Judge Knocks Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage (Arkansas, Too)

Josh Marshall spotted flocks of pigs flying over Mississippi yesterday. I didn't see them in my neighboring state of Arkansas (and,  unless I'm mistaken, a collective of swine isn't called a flock, but a herd — as in Luke 8:32-3, when the KJV of the gospels tells us that Jesus sends a legion of demons into a herd of Gadarene swine. Or it appears that one may speak of a "gang of hogs," a term I've just met in an 1801 estate sale in North Carolina, in which an ancestor of mine bought a "gang of hogs" from the estate of his deceased relative. We know things like what to call collectives of pigs in places like Mississippi and Arkansas and North Carolina. But I digress.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quote for Day: Chris Hedges on the "Sacrifice Zones" Required by Unfettered Capitalism (with Application to Ferguson)

After Ferguson Verdict, I Remember My City's Last Lynching in 1927: Rioting Mobs, Destruction of Property, Failure of Grand Jury to Return Indictment

As furor ensues following the Missouri grand jury verdict, I'm astounded to be told on Facebook by a fellow citizen of my state that "we" have the "best legal system man has ever created." When I read that statement, my mind immediately scrolls back to the last lynching that occurred in my city of Little Rock. It happened in 1927. In my mother's lifetime. She was a girl of five years old living 20 miles downriver from the city. This happened in my mother's lifetime . . . . I remember being told stories about all of this in my own childhood