Category Archives: religion & politics

am I pro-choice? damn straight.’m reminded by Sex in the Public Square that today is “Blog for Choice” Day, a movement developed by Bush v. Choice (“the pro-choice anti-Bush action center”) and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

You can read Sex in the Public Square’s column and get a beautifully written explanation that mirrors my own opinions on the subject. I’ll go over them in brief in a moment, but first I want to make the following perfectly clear:

Continue reading

I pledge allegiance to the First Amendment

I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free; and I won’t forget the men [and women] who died to give that right to me. And I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, ’cause there ain’t no isn’t any doubt I love this land. [My personal patriotic statement ends there; I see no need to call upon a deity to bless my country.]

When the National Anthem plays, I sing. When my family discusses current events and aspects of American politics or society that may be less than perfect, I’m quick to remind my children that, despite its imperfections, American is the greatest country in the world and we’re extremely lucky to live here. When I’m at a gathering that recites the Pledge of Allegiance, I put my hand over my heart, face the flag, and unhesitatingly state my commitment to America.

However, I leave out two words: “under God.”

Continue reading

amen to that

My friend Tim wrote an excellent and thought-provoking entry today, titled “Questions of Faith.”

I may be an atheist, but to this I can only say AMEN. These are exactly the sorts of questions that I wonder about regularly, but directed at all religious bodies, not just Christians.

All of the world’s major faiths profess to be about peace and love, and yet very little of either is evidenced in their words and actions toward the rest of humanity. It seems as though the members of all faiths who believe themselves to be the most pure and the most devout display the highest degrees of insularity; fear of the new/different/unknown; resistance to rational thought; and willingness to behave in irrational, contradictory, and often violent ways.

I do my level best to maintain my open mind and tolerance regarding religion (despite the regular condemnation of atheists and humanists as being the source of all evil in the world — have those who condemn me looked in the mirror lately?), but it’s increasingly difficult as peoples of all faiths seem more and more desirous of molding the world to suit their particular brand of theism and of stamping out all skepticim and alternate beliefs.

So many wars, so much violence, all in the name of God, and all promulgated by people who claim to be devoted to the sanctity of life. So many children are being raised to hate, in the name of their God. And now, families I know personally are rejoicing in the Middle East war because they believe it brings the world a step closer to the Second Coming.

Surely the God in which billions of people place their blind faith would prefer that those billions serve him by taking care of each other and the world, rather than ransacking the planet to prove that their way is the only truth. But come to think of it, that would make them humanists — and apparently, to them, that’s the worst possiblity of all.

civil marriage is a civil right

I'm incredibly proud to be a member of my church. This evening we celebrated 10 years as a Welcoming Congregation — welcoming, that is, of the full diversity of humanity, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. We also celebrated the 10th anniversary of our congregation's chapter of Interweave (Unitarian Universalists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns). And, we re-dedicated our church's decision two years ago to hang a banner on the outside of the building, reading "Civil Marriage Is a Civil Right." (The elements wore out the original, and now we have a lovely, bigger, sturdier banner to replace it.)

I made a couple of contributions to the evening. I led everyone in singing Libby Roderick's lovely song, "How Could Anyone":

How could anyone ever tell you
You were anything less than beautiful?
How could anyone ever tell you
You were less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice
That your loving is a miracle?
How deeply you're connected to my soul?

In addition, I made two half-sheet cakes (banana and chocolate!), one featuring two groom figurines, and one with two brides. (Similar cakes, which I also made, appear in this picture from the original banner dedication; there's also a third, featuring an interracial heterosexual couple.)

My church passed a resolution 10 years ago affirming our commitment to equality for people regardless of their sexual orientation or expression. In addition, our larger denomination passed a resolution in 2004 opposing a federal amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as being solely between and man and a woman. I am close friends with couples who have been life partners for many years, who nonetheless live with daily discrimination as a result of being unable to make a simple contract equivalent to heterosexual marriage. Rights pertaining to insurance, finances, children, taxes, housing, and much more are denied them as a matter of course, although the only difference between their relationship and mine is that they're the same sex. That isn't civil, and it isn't right.

I hope that I'll see the day when all my friends share in our nation's supposed commitment to equality for all. In the meantime, I'm proud to be part of a small but vocal segment of my community that is striving to make a basic civil right available to everyone.

UCC ad rejected by ABC

Progressive religious leaders belong in church — AND on the airwaves!

What do you think?