There’s a there there

I am becoming increasingly drawn to the idea of place, and how ministry comes out of a place. We understand, if partially, the role of localism in liturgy, but it does little to overcome the restlessness, even anomie, that we suffer with today. There’s something diabolical about the “gospel of rewards” seen in such unreal programs as The Swan and Extreme Makeover. How long ago were we shocked by The Stepford Wives, only to be shown the “virtue” of becoming Stepford people, in Stepford neighborhoods, ostensibly attending (or not) Stepford churches? (The film is being remade: what lesson will it convey?)

If the church is to be an agent of redemption, it has to start here as much as with the economically deprived. A church has to be a “there” to overcome the commercialize unreality that passes for the truth.

Nothing new in what I’m saying, but if enough of us realize it, perhaps we won’t all be anesthetized at the same time.

I think we need to start at home.

In the meantime, here’s a look at one organization trying to improve my slice of the world
Adams Morgan Main Street

“This is what democracy looks like”

I was wrong about the numbers. This event we had in Washington was far bigger than this wide-eyed boy met in 1993 for the March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Something Something and Liberation. I’d believe the claims of a million people. Now, to business.

I’m a bit of a chant snob. (I realized – to some horror – that I was belting out some of the chants used today before some of the teen chanters at The March for Women’s Lives were born. And yet I still qualify for membership in my denomination’s young adult organization. Odd.) To review —

I know slogans are not the basis of either public policy, or an ethical theology, but I’m also aware how much internal room they can claim and never fully relinquish. (And then they drink all your beer.)

Not, the Church, Not the State, Women Will Decide Our Fate begs for a kind of anarchic separatist collectivism that is both dated and untenable in a democracy. It also obsesses about faith, and makes it awkward to make a faithful witness in what is still an abortion rights event. Recast this one as “Sisterhood is still powerful, and I think boiled tofu has a good flavor, uncontaminated by patriarchy.”

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, George Bush Has Got to Go is the latest revision of a slogan so tired that I’m ever repeating it (under my breath) as Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, This Old Chant Has Got to Go. No more comment there.

Pro-Choice, Pro-Child is a strange, defensive relic of the “Having It All” school of professional/mother womahood. It should go “I live two full time jobs and I’m too tired to have to re-fight social and legal battles.” I notived it was in full blast in the zone on Pennsylvania Avenue where the counter-demonstrators were.

The one I liked, but is at risk of being done-to-death is a responsive:
Show me what democracy looks like!
This is what democracy looks like!

I’ll have to speak to why this was the most appropriate chant for the day, and, I’m glad to say, was the one most ably adopted by the younger participants.

Of course, like the whole day, it had a rhythm that would be better conveyed in a sound recording, but I don’t have that. I have pictures instead.

More commentary later. (Oh, one more thing. Why were so many of the marchers in an event for womens’ lives smoking? And young women, too. You ain’t come a long way, bay-bee, to die of a tobacco-related illness. I care about your lungs and hearts, too. Just a thought.)

A note about the pics. The first one was on Pennsylvania Avenue, near 10th Street. Then I camped out on 7th Street, and took some shorts. When I saw a large group of Unitarian Universalists, I jumped in. The rest are from the Mall.)Front of the march, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Antis flanking
First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia banner and members
big Unitarian Universalist banner and marchers
In the stream of marchers
On the Mall, facing the Capitol


Yes, I am an omnivore. No, unless my partner and I get a last-minute invitation for Easter dinner, I shall not be eating lamb.

Lamb of God, yes.
Roasted baa-lamb, no.

And I love roasted baa-lamb. With red potatoes. And mint sauce.

Call me a tender-heart: Augustine called the universalists in his day such. I don’t mind, but on the day that Christ overcame the cross and the grave for our sake, I’m just not in the mood to eat a Dead Something.

Chalk up another victory for Christian Vegetarianism, at least for Easter.

So far it looks like knotted egg-bread (I’d eat boiled eggs if I could stomach them), spring greens, olives, (sheep’s milk) cheese, beets (did you know a “beet is the recommended substitute for the lamb-shank in a Seder?), good wine, and lots of butter.

Oh, and roasted red potatoes with mint sauce.

Love and marriage

Good God, I might actually get married in my own country.

I’m at home today, ill, a bit fevered and with a hacking cough. Got up to try to accomplish some work, and (to that end) checked my email. Vanity led me to check if anyone had added a comment to my blog, and noticed my friend Terrance’s blog (The Republic of T) was updated.

He broke the news that the supreme court of Massachusetts has ruled in a split decision that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and that the legislature has 180 days to find a solution.

The UUA’s website has a copy of the opinion.

And some reportage from the newspaper (which for the moment pushes the President’s trip to London and the results of one of the sniper trials off the top of the electronic headlines) where the man I love works:

Massachusetts Court: State Wrong to Ban Gay Marriage (Washington Post)

P.s. It seems I can receive permission to solemnize marriage in Massachusetts but reading between the lines, it seems that as a non-resident it would probably mean an extra effort.

How appropriate that on the CD player I’ve got a Katrina and Waves singing Walking on Sunshine (a UK purchase) because � despite the cough � I “gotta feel good.”