Frank Rich, NYTimes, gets it

31 08 2008

There has been a lot of talk about the selection of Sarah Palin as running mate for Republican nominee John McCain.  Frank Rich, Op-Ed columnist for the NYTimes, gets what this is all about.

The main reason McCain knuckled under to the religious right by picking Palin is that he actually believes there is a large army of embittered Hillary loyalists who will vote for a hard-line conservative simply because she’s a woman.  That’s what happens when you listen to the TV news echo chamber.  Not only is the whole premise ludicrous, but it is every bit as sexist as the crude joke McCain notoriously told about Janet Reno, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

It is obvious this faithful lady and mother of five is being used by the Republican party to appeal to the religious right.  This choice has been called “irresponsible” by one particular prominent lady, whose husband I had the privilege of working for during the first six months of my tenure at the investment bank I work for.  I just hope Governor Palin is going into this campaign eyes-wide-open and realizing that her gender and her faith are being used to further the secular political ends of a womanizer.

Evangelism and That Blasted “Calling” Thing

26 08 2008

Before I launch into this particular set of musings, two thoughts:

  • In the Discernment Process, one of the things you are supposed to articulate is “What is your ministry and why do you need to be ordained to do it?”
  • My friend, whom I call Deacon Rob (even though he’s not a Deacon yet, but he’s in school for it), said to me, “Some people in the process do nothing but speak of calling. Others do not speak of it at all, except in passing. You are one of those who do not speak of it.”

Over the past couple of months, I have been wrestling with this whole sense of calling thingy. This wrestling was brought on by no small part by my run-ins with Jesus (see here and here) over the summer. I feel as if I have begun to sense the price that is to be paid for living such a life in this particular vocation…it’s almost as if in some way you become sort of a public figure. I have to tell you there were times when I felt as if I wanted to look skyward and say “Do you mind? I’m trying to have a vacation here!” Read the rest of this entry »

Red State Culture of Fear

26 08 2008

North Carolina, though rather progressive in terms of the South, is what they call a “Red State.” It has conservative leanings and also has a rather large Evangelical population like much of the South. It is a culture that is steeped in religion and spirituality, and in many ways, a totally different world that what we experience in large cities or in the North East USA or the West Coast.

One thing I think that is wonderful is how North Carolina has tried to publicly come to grips with its history of slavery. This I think it has done better than many if not most Southern States. For example, there are pictures in the State Capitol of the first black senators and representatives to the State Legislature, standing alongside their white counterparts. There are signposts all around Raleigh pointing to where this or that local Freedman’s bureau once stood, or where certain notable events happened. There is an exhibit in the Museum of History dedicated to the Civil Right’s movement and how life was under Jim Crow. I have to say that I found the parts talking about segregation neither condemning or nostalgic … it was simply saying “this is how it was.”

Interesting side note: In those areas where there was a sizeable Native American population, the Jim Crow laws called for three sets of facilities … “White,” “Colored,” and “Indian.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Parental Visitation

25 08 2008

Taking a short break from the blog hiatus to comment on my visitation to the parents…

Firstly, if anyone hasn’t taken a long-distance train ride in a sleeper car, I highly recommend doing so. It’s great to unplug, read, and watch the world go by. I had a small “roomette” which had two chairs facing each other which reclined and joined to become a bed. A second bed descended from the wall and had a harness type structure to keep the person in the top bunk from falling out. there was a small shelf to keep your bags and some wall hooks to hang stuff. Also included was a sink which folded out of the wall and I discovered that what looked like a shelf actually lifted up to become the toilet!!! While this was no big deal for someone travelling solo, if I were with someone else, it could become problematic, especially if it were with a female!!!

The food actually was not that bad and a step up from plane food. We got a morning paper and we took our meals in the dining car and were included in the fare price. There was also a separate lounge where you could buy snacks, sandwiches, drinks, etc.

Read the rest of this entry »

Unplugging …

18 08 2008

…to enjoy the rest of the summer, which is the main reason i haven’t posted much lately.  I have been keeping up with y’all and have especially enjoyed reading everyone’s postings up at DP’s while he’s in Tannin but just haven’t really felt moved to comment or add much to the conversation because i’m totally in “summer mode” here.

So, the Reverend boy will be taking a brief hiatus until Labour Day.  This week I’m heading off to North Carolina (or as Sista girl calls it, “North Cack,” short for “North Cack-a-lackee”) to visit the family for a few days and connect with some friends.  Will be taking the train there and back.  I have what Amtrak is calling a “roomette” and am totally looking forward to being unplugged and watching the countryside roll by as i read the paper, a few books, and listen to music.

Next week I’ll be back in NYC and will try to hit the beach over the long weekend.  I’ll still be checking in on y’all to see what mischief everyone is getting up to (and you know who you are!), but I doubt I’ll be saying too much and will be content to just lurk about for a couple of more weeks.