Leaping from Our Spheres
Not surprisingly, there has been a great deal of conversation among my Unitarian Universalist ministerial colleagues ‒ and other non-Catholic clergy and lay leaders ‒ about Pope Francis’s visit to the United States last week. How his beliefs and positions sit or don’t sit with our espoused positions and overall world view.
No question that this pope, who passes up pomp and politics for cafeteria style meals with homeless people, and who has expressed over and over his policy preferences on behalf of the poor, has captured the hearts and interfaith imagination of many progressive people. Yet, an editorial in the weekly Jewish newspaper The Forward has cautioned that, with the exception of the Pope’s theological insistence on forgiveness in the form of accepted confession by women who have chosen to terminate a pregnancy, and some talk about dialing down the machismo in the world in general and perhaps the Catholic Church in particular, there is “no change in the church’s position against abortion, contraception, women’s rights and marriage equality ‒ at least not in the foreseeable future.”
This is yet another blog about Planned Parenthood.
Full disclosure: When faced with my own need to make a decision about an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 19, I did not choose the option of abortion. And I doubt if I ever would have elected termination.
But that did not prevent me from (another full disclosure) going to work for a Planned Parenthood affiliate in California, one that offered a range of counseling and medical services, including abortion. Continue reading
My husband and I have just recently returned from our annual summer travels, this time to Ireland – both the Irish Republic and North Ireland. It is just as lovely and green as we had read about in guide books. It is also an interesting study in human rights contrasts: specifically the disconnect between having just passed a referendum in May legalizing same sex marriage – the first ever in the world – while at the same time Ireland still has one of the most restrictive abortion policies, limiting legal access only to when the life of the woman is in danger. Continue reading
The 21-year-old white man, clad in black despite the June swelter, entered Emanuel AME church in Charleston and sat for a while silently observing a small group of African American congregants holding Wednesday night bible study. And then, according to news reports, almost an hour after he arrived, he stood and pulled out a gun.
When he was asked — when he was begged — not to shoot, he said he had to. “You are raping our women and taking over our country.” And he proceeded to open fire, then fled. Continue reading
In college, I went to a Take Back the Night march with some of my friends (mostly female) from our Students for a Democratic Society chapter. There was solemnity and sharing, but also passion and speeches; by the end of it we found ourselves worked up and ready to keep moving. So I followed the organizers on a continued march around campus, holding signs and chanting slogans. We went to all the campus greens, and even into some dorms. In one of the dorms that many of the athletes lived in, a number of men came out into to hall to see what all the noise was. They had a range of reactions, but I remember someone asking “What the **** are the guys doing with them?”