February 11, 2013- Monday before Ash Wednesday

The Meeting House
The Meeting House

Did you know that on this date in 1790,the Society of Friends petitioned the United Staes House of Representatives to abolish the slave trade? It was a common sense request from a group of common sense people who wanted the words to the Constitution to mean something for all Americans. Reasonable request don’t you think? Then why is it unreasonable to question the interpretation of the second amendment to that same Constitution. Where the Society of Friends concerned about freedom for all? How about the safety of all to exercise these freedoms without fear and without intimidation? Was an unrestricted second amendment really a good idea? The debate rages on. Personally I think hunting would be more of a sport if the hunters used bow and arrows and a knife. It would be more sporting for the prey and skill for the hunter. Culling wolves from a helicopter with a high powered rifle doesn’t sound like sport. It sounds like target practice. And  just what is a well regulated Militia? I am wondering if citizens should have more powerful weapons than law-enforcement? Should a munitions clip really have space for 100 armor-piercing bullets? Are military assault rifle owners that bad of a shot? Can I own a tank or a rocket launcher? The debate rages on. By the way did anyone ever remove Charlton Heston’s rifle from his cold dead hands yet? How many guns does someone really need? 10? 20? 150? Does this make him feel “freer” or “safer” I wonder? If there is any good to come out of Sandy Hook it’s this, the argument has not died out, only intensified since December 14th 2012. This time the discussion feels different.

And speaking of freedoms…there are a few other items on the freedom agenda that need to be addressed as well.

“Whatever violates the integrity of the human person…whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonor to the Creator.”

Gaudium et Spes December 7,1965

That’s a mouthful to say the very least. Human dignity. Does that mean the right to be here? Does it mean all are created equal? Does it mean that I can have differing opinions about stuff, but still have a shred of dignity? . Yes yes and yes. During Lent we always talk about what a person is “giving up” mainly to show how sack cloth-y and ashes-y we can become from our medieval ancestors. But you know what’s even better than “giving up” something? “Doing” something. When one starts doing something then one makes it a habit so that after Easter has come and gone the person is still “doing” it. Wouldn’t that be cool? I think so too. How about we work on ridding this country of poverty? How about if we worked on equality? How about spending some of that defense budget on schools and teachers? How about we lend our reasonable voices to change for the better? What are you going to “do” this Lent? I am mentally working on my list…and it hurts to use my brain.

I know one thing I can do and one thing I can give up at the same time. Y’know what it is? Yes, you are quite right…I can lean over and switch off Fox News. Anyone with me? Go for it!!

and so it goes…

A little song, a little dance, a little coffee down your pants... 40 years in the high school classroom and now on my own. A chance to think about stuff and how it affects everyone, not just me. Now residing in Oregon volunteering for a refugee organization.

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