by: Craig Wiesner on January 18th, 2012 | Comments Off
Sometimes in the midst of the mundane or the profane of the day, I find myself musing about the meaning of it all. My friend Rev. Jim Burklo just sent along his latest musing, and while it doesn’t answer all the questions about life, the universe, and everything, it did bring a smile to my face and some peace to my morning. May it do some of the same for you too. Read on!
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, it was a courageous thing to do, but someone was already here... Something you'd know, unless you live in Tucson in 2012
It’s Martin Luther King Day and we should all be thinking about progress we’ve made on King’s dream. Well… this morning I woke up to more of a bit of a sad vision of at least one part of America. My friend Nancy Schimmel sent me a note this morning to let me know that Tucson, Arizona, in order to avoid losing lots of money in state school funding, has ordered certain books to be banned from classrooms in order to be in compliance with the state’s new “ethnic cleansing” rules (my phrase for what they refer to as the elimination of ethnic studies).
According to Bill Bigelow of Rethinking Schools (at Salon.com), “By ordering teachers to remove ‘Rethinking Columbus,’ the Tucson school district has shown tremendous disrespect for teachers and students.” “This is a book that has sold over 300,000 copies and is used in school districts from Anchorage to Atlanta, and from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. It offers teaching strategies and readings that teachers can use to help students think about the perspectives that are too often silenced in the traditional curriculum.”
My company, Reach And Teach, has sold many copies of Rethinking Columbus. The thought that this book, and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” are being banned from Tucson schools boggles my mind.
When I first heard about Congress adding a provision to a Defense Authorization bill that would allow for the U.S. MILITARY to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens, without trial, just for being suspected of supporting anyone who was “engaged in hostilities against the United States,” I assumed it was just the work of some whacky right-winger who knew that the language didn’t have a chance of surviving the first round of mark-ups in conference committee. When the Senate and House overwhelmingly voted for the bill, with the President signing it in the dead of night when no one was looking, it struck me that something very strange was happening, and so far, no one has offered a serious explanation of why this bill came to be and is now law.
From my friend the Rev. Jim Burklo, of the Center for Progressive Christianity, a musing.
Press Release: The Virgin of Guadalupe Speaks
For immediate release
At a press conference in Los Angeles, CA, La Virgen de Guadalupe, on the 480th anniversary of her apparition in Mexico, suddenly appeared, held up on a crescent by a little cherubic angel. With brilliant effulgence surrounding her, she declared her independence from the Catholic Church specifically and from the Christian religion as a whole. “I belong to all humanity,” she declared. “No exceptions!”
Our friend Rev. Jim Burklo (Center for Progressive Christianity) just visited the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His visit is chronicled in this latest musing that I found fascinating and wonderful, especially what happened at the very end… (read on).
by: Craig Wiesner on October 27th, 2011 | Comments Off
We just heard from a colleague who was arrested in Oakland for…. assembling. While he was getting arrested we were having dinner with friends, one of whom said that he wished there were a simple, clear message coming from the 99%. Well, this morning, our friend Jim Burklo (The Center for Progressive Christianity) wrote one of his “musings” and in it he had a short and sweet message:
Protect the poor and middle-class with a strong public “safety net”, take strong action to protect the environment, raise taxes on the rich and cut military spending to balance the federal budget, and rationalize regulations so that private enterprise will thrive on a more level playing field.
Want more? Read on!
Creative Commons / Douglas606
After five years of being held captive, Gilad Shalit was returned to Israel in exchange for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Shalit (cousin of former Tikkun editor Joel Schalit) was kidnapped by Hamas when he was just 19 years old. There is certainly much to discuss about the Israeli government’s decision to make this deal, and the impact it will have on the future. For now, I am grateful that Shalit is home, safe, and my prayers are with him as he begins what is sure to be a long journey of healing. My prayers are also with the Palestinians released from prison, their families, and for their journey going forward. May this be a moment that begins healing for all sides that could lead to a lasting, just, peace.
Check out more on the story from the Washington Post (click here).
by: Craig Wiesner on October 15th, 2011 | Comments Off
(Image courtesy Bloody Marty Mix / Flickr Creative Commons)
Last night as we helped our friends at Design Action Collective celebrate their many years of successfully empowering justice movements (including being the art designers for Tikkun Magazine for a long while), we met a young man who told us a stunning tale. He had tried to get his wife onto his health insurance plan and the company turned them down. Why? Because they weren’t legally married. He and the woman he loved had decided that marriage equality was an important enough justice issue that until their GLBTQ friends could get legally married, they wouldn’t. Instead, they had a wonderful ceremony with friends and family, but no license from the state. When he applied to add his wife to his insurance policy, the company actually checked state records and finding no license, issued no insurance. That’s not fair! I exclaimed…
by: Craig Wiesner on September 22nd, 2011 | Comments Off
All Photos Courtesy Alex Sennello
As we’ve been marking the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DODT) and the White House calling the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, the “It Gets Better” campaign rings very true. At the same time, though, a Connecticut high school recently threw out a student for being gay and an Oklahoma legislator called homosexuality “a greater threat to America than terrorists.” So there’s lots of work to do.
Late last week we received a newsletter from Camp Ten Trees, an incredible place which I’ll let the letter below from camper Alex Sennello describe. Reach And Teach has proudly supported the camp since we were introduced to it by Jacinta Bunnell (Girls Are Not Chicks and Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon). With places like Camp Ten Trees, and people like Alex, we can celebrate the work that’s been done to make things better for GLBTQ people and those who love them. And, by supporting programs like Camp Ten Trees, we can keep making it better and better. We’re grateful that Alex granted us permission to repost her letter and post some of her photos from Camp Ten Trees.
Ready to be inspired?
Kristina Olsen at the Interfaith Worship Service We Held in Kabul
I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to create and air over a dozen 2-minute “perspectives” on our local public radio station, KQED. The editor there asked those of us who have been on the program over the years to write a special perspective about how we experienced September 11th and the impact of those tragic events. Though mine didn’t make the cut for airing during a special half-hour program this weekend, I thought I would share it with my Tikkun Daily friends. What does the song I’ve Got You Babe have to do with September 11th? Read on.