Little more than a week ago, I posted about what was then the upcoming oral arguments presented to the United States Supreme Court dealing with same-sex marriage. That post, titled Children In The Crosshairs, related one of my personal concerns about the impact this decision (due in June) may have on innocent children.Now that the arguments have been presented and the attorneys have fielded interrogatories from the Supremes, I’m noting another concern being expressed. The ominous death knell for Christian organizations (churches, schools, etc.) appears to have sounded and was summed up by author Joe Carter in his opening paragraph here: “With six words –’It is going to be an issue’ – the U.S. government signaled to orthodox Christian colleges and universities that if they don’t drop their opposition to same-sex marriage they will lose their tax exempt status.”
According to information I’ve read over the last couple days, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments next week that relate to same-sex marriage. With nearly 150 friend-of-the-court briefs already filed, the justices will hold an extended (2½ hours) hearing.
As I understand the issue, SCOTUS will be grappling with the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment which was ratified in 1868, granting US citizenship to former slaves. Suffice it to say, I’m not Constitutional scholar, but I can certainly read the text of this amendment and understand why it was adopted as part of our Constitution. Continue Reading →
Saying goodbye … it’s an inevitable part of life. When one says goodbye to fictional characters, it shouldn’t be a wrenching loss – unless the characters are so well-drawn and true to life, they’ve become embedded in your life. This kind of goodbye doesn’t just represent a closed book of characters but also the way in which these characters have colored one’s point of view.The FX Network show Justified aired its finale last night following a six-season run. Truthfully, I hated to have the show end, but its final episode hit every note with perfect pitch and stunning narrative grace notes. Without giving away any spoilers, I can’t imagine any show ending with better symmetry and poetic precision. Continue Reading →
Currently, my Beloved is a dues-paying member of the now-famous (or infamous, depending upon one’s point of view) Planet Fitness franchise of non-judgmental workout centers. The recent hubbub revolves around a female member who expressed her dismay (to PF management) and questioned the appropriateness of a naked – and obviously male – individual boldly ensconced in the women’s locker room. (In this HuffPost news story, the naked male is referred to as “a transgender woman.“)The outspoken woman in the story discovered almost immediately how seriously PF adheres to their stated policy of the facility as a “Judgment Free Zone.” In a move that surely defies the notion of “the customer is always right,” management at the Michigan facility immediately revoked the complainer’s membership! (Freedom of speech? Not here!) Continue Reading →
About ten years ago, my elder daughter picked up her son from his junior high school and headed home. In the car with them was my daughter’s infant, swaddled within the confines of a federal- and state-mandated and approved infant car seat. A stop at the pharmacy was necessary and the infant was fast asleep in the relative security of her car seat.My daughter parked the car, leaving strict instructions with the twelve-year-old to stay in the car, doors locked, and finish his homework. He was seated next to his sister (in her rear-facing car seat) so he could see every move the baby made. Confident in her son’s ability, my daughter hurried into the pharmacy. Continue Reading →
One of my friends has a loved one who suffers from chronic, unrelenting pain, a physical issue that rarely ebbs and can’t be controlled by medications (since the guy chooses to remain aware of and active in the world around him). The man has a family and wants to hold onto his job, even though working sometimes pushes the limit of his capabilities. When his pain – on the scale of 1 to 10 – reaches 11, relief won’t come with pat answers or “I feel your pain” catchphrases. Impossible as it is to adequately understand someone else’s pain, we’ve all had occasions where our own pain has seemed momentarily unendurable. A woman in labor for thirty hours knows the pain and exhaustion that are usually relieved upon delivery. But even a minuscule splinter can cause terrible and unremitting pain which one might consider unendurable … until the splinter is removed. (I suppose in that sense we must conclude pain is relative.) Continue Reading →
The recent conversation between Oprah and Rob Bell, featured in a video entitled Super Soul Sunday, has created lots of buzz over the last couple days. Perhaps the most striking comments emerging from this conversation – and the portion garnering the most attention – is Bell’s assertion that the church (one would presume in context Bell is referring to evangelicals) is “moments away” from acknowledging and accepting gay marriage.Bell explains, “… culture is already there” but then he adds: “… the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” Because LOVE. Continue Reading →
On the surface, the two shows (The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey) could not be more different. What they do have in common is – at least here in the central time zone – both shows air at 8 p.m. on Sundays. That requires some juggling, yes, so maybe things are getting slightly muddled in my brain … did Lori have a baby or was that Edith? (Both.) Was Matthew Crawley killed by zombies or a car wreck? (The latter.)
I know, I know! I’ve probably stepped on everyone’s toes by suggesting any of the above. But the huge casts involved in both productions make for some interesting contrasts, don’t you think?Unfortunately, though the shows have been running about the same amount of time, the Simpsonized images (shown above) don’t offer a good comparison for the number of characters. Both shows have numerous recurring (or minor) characters, while Downton appears to have relied on special guest characters whereas Dead has not. Continue Reading →
Do you ever have a day when you’re tempted to stay in bed? Today would have been an excellent day to follow that plan. In my neck of the woods, last night’s much-anticipated (though not necessarily by me) snow accumulation brought a welcome day off from school or work for many … although for some, it was already the Presidents’ Day holiday.
Or how about this? When looking back on a day just past, maybe there have been those days when you’ve concluded: I wish I had stayed in bed! That’s how I felt about today – I didn’t stay in bed, but by midday, I was thinking I should have. It was a day when, no matter what I did, I couldn’t nudge myself out of an oppressive funk!
I drank coffee, I talked on the phone, I wandered aimlessly through email, blog posts and genealogy notes, I drank more coffee, and underneath, I had this disturbing sense of restlessness and inexplicable annoyance! Finally, I read a post from A Reasonable Faith in which the author relates her disappointment that the Seattle Seahawks didn’t win the recent Super Bowl. (The post opens with a delightful comic, by the way.) Continue Reading →
Here we are … celebrating Valentine’s Day 2015. It’s a long weekend due to the so-called Presidents’ Day holiday … which was initially a celebration for George Washington’s birthday (the 22nd) … but then was expanded to include Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (the 12th) as well … and when Congress suggested honoring all US presidents with a single holiday to be known as Presidents’ Day, they never actually approved the bill! Still, Presidents’ Day became the default – though unofficial – name anyway! So, Happy Presidents’ Day / Valentine’s Day or Happy Valentine’s Day / Presidents’ Day or if you prefer … Saturday!This is also a highly-anticipated (by some) blockbuster movie weekend. According to BoxOfficeMojo’s forecast headline, “‘Fifty Shades” To Dominate Valentine’s Day Box Office, the film will “set a handful of box office records” this weekend. The same website’s Friday Report employs an apt headline: “Moviegoers Submit to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.” Continue Reading →