Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

There are certain aspects of Quakerism that I work on interpreting and embracing. One is the low- or no-key way holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like are handled. No one day is more important, special, or holy than another. God should be honored all the time. You love your spouse even on days you did not marry your spouse. Things like that.

So today, I am not observing the loss of life years ago, any more than I do any other day. The people that died that day were loved every day. They are missed each day too. Saving up for a loss, on just special days, doesn’t acknowledge those holes that happen during the rest of the year. When you miss breakfast on Sundays. Skiing in the winter. The way they said goodnight. The loss was a tragic loss no matter when they died. Loss hurts, missing someone hurts. It is a wound on any day afterwards, and on any day you suffered the loss of a loved one.

People who died on the tenth, or the twelfth, from whatever cause are missed. Sudden ones are jarring, especially the young for so many. But as time goes on, it’s simply a void in your heart and your life. Way of death doesn’t change that. The lack of closure would be especially hard, but I think it is important for those who did not get closure (from any loss) to seek it out. Honor the memory and not the loss. Have their memories fill that void, ease that pain, soothe that heartache.

I also do not mourn the loss of buildings, ‘way of life’ as a whole (although of course my beliefs do feel strongly about how things are and should be), planes. They’re symbols for a tragic event. And it isn’t as if there is no sacred ground; rather, all ground is sacred. All ground is reverent. To me, if I were to think of sacred spaces to remind me of loved ones, places like the beach, the ocean, certain parks and the like would come to mind. Now, I understand the loss, in that I did feel like so many memories (I worked there for some time) just went away. I remember how hard it was to look in that direction for the longest time. I do understand it, but actively work to remember they were buildings. Buildings filled with people, and that’s what matters the most. What is or isn’t built there does not matter. The subways those people rode, the homes they lived in, the places they hung out were all parts of their lives and important. There is more to them than their deaths.

And it’s been reduced to that, hasn’t it? Some do miss people, but mostly it’s been an exercise in how many times you can say “never forget” (co-opted from Holocaust survivors), cover yourself in a flag, and beat your breast? And just once a year? When will it become a day of sales at department stores, and a day off from school? Will people have cookouts and decorate their homes? Will there be parades? Maybe a “very special episode” of your favorite TV show?

It’s losing meaning without effort, but not in the way I am trying. I am trying to put the day aside by making the days around it matter, by making every day important and holy. The other way of doing it is by making the day meaningless and mundane by focusing on the decorations, the buildings, the grounds, the politics, the religion, the spin. If you do observe it, which I respect and understand and may again one day, then it should be for the people lost in such a heartbreakingly tragic way. Including those first responders and rescuers and workers who are dying NOW because of it.

I have my own personal heartaches because of this day, and I found for me that setting it aside and going ahead is the only way to have light come of it. It was a dark and bleak and evil day. Bringing light to it is healing, to me. Making it positive, and doing positive works and thoughts will fight that darkness.

I do hold everyone hurting today in the light. I do that every day I can. It’s my part to eliminate all that is bad, wicked, evil, painful in the world. Bringing about good to get rid of the bad. The healthiest way to heal us all.

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I posted this on Facebook after watching my wall explode with opinions all over the place, very heated. Just wanted my opinion out there. This just happens to be a day that my husband is working on the Memorial downtown. I want to say that when we took my kids down there once when he was working on another site down there, fixing it, rebuilding one of the damaged buildings not too long after 9/11. My son was a bit concerned, because what was happening, what was that big hole in the ground? I told him what happened that people like his dad were rebuilding it, and making things better. I pointed to the workers on the building, fixing it, making it whole again.

So here’s what I had to say on FB:

I am somewhat bemused that as Facebook is exploding with Muslim Mosque hysteria, my husband is at this moment building the memorial to the victims of 9/11. Put your money where your mouth is, and help REBUILD our nation, instead of tearing each other down. I think his actually being in the dirt and heat and sweating does more honor to the victims and our nation than whining about a building expanding blocks away. Ask why the site is STILL not finished. Where is the glory? The honor? Instead, there are squabbles like filthy animals in the muck. Is THAT the America you want to be?

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Success Made Simple

I’ll admit, part of my interest in the Amish is the surprisingly frequent confusion between Quakers and Amish. I mean, look at me, do I look Amish to you? And yet I’ve had people tell me “I guess you are fine in the blackout, you’re used to living without electricity.” So, yeah.

If I link to this blog entry, then I enter to win a book. The really cool thing is that I now found a new blog to read! So even if I don’t get the book, I’m pretty happy that I’m posting this.


Off to read a bit more at A Joyful Chaos.

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I read today about the Roman Catholic church denying First Communion to disabled, as policy, when I was looking up the story of the Roman Catholic Parish that got a judge to ban a family from attending Mass — to the point where a sheriff was waiting outside the home to arrest a family if they tried to attend.

I compared this to my own small Quaker worship group, which has been very inviting to my seven year old, non verbal child with PDD-NOS.

It makes me wonder what other policies are out there. A faith that insists that you understand the host is the body of Christ is going to be less inclined to give a child communion. In the case of the child denied, he had ‘oral defensiveness’ and could put the host in his mouth, but his father had to finish it. (My own son was unable to eat from birth — so it is a matter of medicine, not being ‘difficult’.) What would a different church do? I know of another child who is facing a possibility of being barred from his first communion for his disabilities, involving his ability to cope with large crowds. What about Bar Mitzvahs? Are those only for those who can read, memorize, perform in front of others?

As our children are out of institutions, and in our communities, our faiths need to decide what role they will ‘allow’ our children to have in their churches, temples, meetinghouses, places of worship.

Understand, though, as parents, if we feel that you are rejecting our children for their disabilities, we may very well reject you. It makes me sad to know that this is ok, and perhaps even desirable with some religions. But we’re not going away. Our children aren’t locked up any more, and we want them to be full members of our communities.

Will our religions step up to the plate? Or will they turn their backs on us.

I’m glad my group of Friends stepped up. I’m sad to read about others (primarily the Catholic Church) that said no. These people need to be members of the faith community, not just recipients of social services from them. (But then, as members of the community, they may not have much to donate, if they can’t work. However, Catholic Charities and the like DO make money off the government offering various services to the disabled.)

When it comes to communion, I can understand not taking it because you’re not in a state of grace, or whatever (I, personally will not take whereas other ‘lapsed (Roman) Catholics will), because that is a religious barrier, one that has to do with you at that moment in time. But when you are taking people who may be born with an inability to ever do it, or who for whatever reason have to stop later on, for medical reasons, then that isn’t very fair, and to me, not very loving. Does God care to what extent you can vocalize the meaning of the act to you? Or does God know your heart, and approve?

I would go so far as to say it is morally wrong to deny someone communion for those reasons, as you are taking God’s most vulnerable and denying them Him on that level. Do we, as “able bodied” adults have a responsibility to make sure that others partake in His rituals as much as possible? I think so.

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Relevant to Quakerism

via uuworld.org : liberal religion and the working class

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Friends, I am pleased to announce that the second annual International Talk Like a Quaker Day will soon be here. On the 24th day of Tenth Month (or October for those not using plain speech), Friends will talk…like Quakers. This day parallels International Talk Like a Pirate Day but is much more peaceful.

Example of ways to speak that day:
Friend, thy foreign policy ideas are not in keeping with the Peace Testimony.
Today is Sixth Day.
I will go to Meeting on First Day.
I feel a Leading to use plain speech today.
No, I do not wear a bonnet. Yes, I do have electricity at home.

International Talk Like a Quaker Day also happens to be United Nations Day and William Penn’s birthday. If Friends feel lead to also act Quakerly on this day, so much the better. Thee can even put thy plain speech to good use by letting your elected officials know that you oppose war. Go to http://www.fcnl.org if you live in the United States.

Please feel free to spread the word if thee feels so moved by the Spirit.

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Sojourners Magazine, September/October 2008.

Most recent issue of Sojourners has two interviews with two men, about poverty.  Edwards and Huckabee.  Interesting to see two sides of the political fence discuss the same issue.

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Quaker teacher fired for changing loyalty oath

For obvious reasons, I am appalled.  When a university requires a teacher turn their backs on their faith, or they get fired, something is horribly, terribly wrong. But then, a university requiring a loyalty oath before you can work there, requiring that you defend the constitution (by denying someone their freedom of religion), is just out of line.

I hope this changes things in California. No one should be required to turn their back on their religion for a job.

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Overheard in New York

God Insists on Saying ‘Between You and I’.

Blonde Teen: So I’m taking that religion class.

Brunette Teen: Oh yeah? The one where you read the Bible right?

Blonde teen: Yeah that one. And get this, we are about to start reading the Book of Proverbs.

Brunette Teen: Oh My God! I didn’t know the Bible had a grammar section.

Blonde Teen: Me neither!!

Brunette Teen: Oh man, I bet it totally tells you how to speak like God… Except properly, you know?

Blonde Teen: [Gasp] I bet it totally does.

Brunette Teen: Ugh! I wish I had taken that class.

–The Original Ray’s Pizza

I am very amused, especially as Proverbs is my favorite book of the Bible. Bet you didn’t know I had one!  Overheard in NY is a great site, it rings true.  And once my husband submitted something that was later put on there, unfortunately I haven’t found it. But we did get email stating that they were going to upload it.

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Plain Dress

Plain Clothes Revisited:  Empathy for Muslim Women Mennonite Life – June 2002 – Weaver article.

Because of the increased attention given to Muslim women’s clothing after September 11, I began to revisit my experience with the Mennonite cap (head covering) and plain clothing, worn until I was 31 years old. During the past 19 years my earlier changes in cap/hair/clothing have often constituted the subject matter of my personal-experience essays designed to demonstrate my gradual acculturation. In those essays I never set out to ridicule my cap and plain clothes; I just attempted to show the changes. Photograph #1 illustrates that phase of my writing: my treating the cap and the plain clothes as an artifact, something to be discussed. In that photograph, I am a spectator of my life, as shown by my holding the cap in my hands and by the family photographs in the background–one showing me in my plain clothes and the other, in my non-plain clothes. Now, however, I’ve begun to see my plain-clothes experiences in a new way.

A woman examines her time dressing plain, and compares it to Muslim women who wear Hijab.

It’s something I’ve thought about before, we have nuns who wear habits, and Christians who dress plain, but there isn’t as much of a fuss about it.


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