“Feed the Tree”

“Feed the Tree” by Belly (early 1990’s). This was one of the songs on my “The Sundays” Pandora.com “station.” I remember vividly when I was doing my master’s work at Kent and advising the All Campus Programming Board. Memories induces by music.! What fun!
“Take your hat off when you’re talkin’ to me and be there when I feed the tree…”

Why? Really, logically, why?

This passionate plea by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s “Countdown” for explanation of why people voted for Proposition 8 in California and against gay-marriage. Watch the video!

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.
Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?
I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967.
The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.
You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.
How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

A solution, cure, cause for hope?

It was reported to day that a bone marrow transplant seems to have cured an decade-long AIDS patient.

BERLIN – An American man who suffered from AIDS appears to have been cured of the disease 20 months after receiving a targeted bone marrow transplant normally used to fight leukemia, his doctors said Wednesday.
While researchers — and the doctors themselves — caution that the case might be no more than a fluke, others say it may inspire a greater interest in gene therapy to fight the disease that claims 2 million lives each year. The virus has infected 33 million people worldwide.
As Huetter — who is a hematologist, not an HIV specialist — prepared to treat the patient’s leukemia with a bone marrow transplant, he recalled that some people carry a genetic mutation that seems to make them resistant to HIV infection. If the mutation, called Delta 32, is inherited from both parents, it prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells by blocking CCR5, a receptor that acts as a kind of gateway.
Roughly one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans have inherited the mutation from both parents…
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases in the U.S., said the procedure was too costly and too dangerous to employ as a firstline cure. But he said it could inspire researchers to pursue gene therapy as a means to block or suppress HIV.

Another screed…

First of all, now President-to-be Obama is under attack because he has supposedly replaced the “pastor to presidents with a gay bishop.” It seems Obama met a few times with Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire to talk about what it was like to be the “first one.”
OneNewsNow.org, a propaganda “news” organ of the American Family Association (a politicized Religious Right organization), ran with the meetings and have spun them to indicate that God-fearing Americans should be ready for a lot of “anti-Christian” stuff from the Obama administration. That is their logic – the president-to-be meets with a gay bishop to see what it is like to be a controversial first person (gay, black) in a prominent position.

Peter Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, believes Obama’s consultations with Robinson show the true tenor of his upcoming administration.
“It looks like Billy Graham has been replaced by a gay bishop. We’re moving to, perhaps, our first anti-Christian president; it’s beyond post-Christian. Gene Robinson advocates homosexuality as part of the Christian experience,” he explains. “Now Bible-believing Christians cannot accept that. Homosexual practice is sinful, as taught by the scriptures. This man [Obama] pretends to be faithful to Christianity, even as he works very hard to undermine it.”

Of course, Obama has not consulted with Robinson for pastoral advise, presumably, but to simply talk about the reality he may face as a “first one.” And, as should be noted, Billy Graham has not been a regularly “pastor to presidents” for a while now due to his age.
These people as self-professed Christians are supposed to practice honesty, integrity, and forthrightness, but this kind of “logic” or argument seems to suggest that they really aren’t interested in such things when it comes to political power and influence. Make your argument – that’s fine, but do it in a way that is actually Christian and not simply parrots of our current acidic, polarized, winner-take-all-at-any-expense political culture.
They sully the name of “Christian” and defame the cause of Christ in this nation.
These groups will lambaste and defame this newcoming president to the nth degree because he does not support their very sectarian and narrow understanding of what it means to be a Christian, the meaning of Scripture, and what God is doing among His people. They will attempt to poison people’s perceptions of this administration so that come the next election all the Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian voters (and hopefully all conservative voters, too) will in no way support the new administration or any other administration that is not in line with their political and economic aspirations.
As much as I really don’t want to make this accusation, they really are living up to the worst of the public’s perception of what “Fundamentalists” do and are all about. Sadly, that will be the impression too many people will then have of Christianity in general, particularly among younger folks who are raised in this kind of caustic and inflammatory environment.
Read some of the statistical analysis of this past election from Barna Research (a group that does a lot of analysis of religious stuff in this country). “Born-Agains” are not the same as “Evangelicals,” and I think that “Evangelicals” will soon need to be re-designated as “Fundamentalists.” How People of Faith Voted in the 2008 Presidential Race