is carved into the skin of a million dead men, women and children murdered for the crime of being born into the wrong place at the wrong time.
it is words burned into flesh freshly carved from the bodies of the innocent—and not so innocent.
it is wounds still bleeding,
tears still hot,
hearts still broken.
it is a political document.
it is hope and despair and determination.
it is agony and law, protection and promise.
it is a document meant to create suppleness and life in the face of rigidity, intolerance, and murder.
it is here: http://www.rwandaparliament.gov.rw/rapport/constitution_uk.pdf
Friday, March 23, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I just gotta be all papist and share what's up. I've been bottling.
Here's the deal for me...I don't care whether there's shaped notes or hand clapping or ritual or none or blue jeans or panty hose or immersion or relevant rhetoric or whatever. Where the rubber meets the road for me is on the altar.
People think Catholics worship statues. That we're idolaters. Fact is, according to other Christian faiths, we kinda are. And it ain't the statues. It's the Eucharist. We BELIEVE that piece of bread is JESUS. We bow to it, pray to it, go visit it and chat about life. I swear, I don't know what God looks like, so when I pray, that's the face I see.
As a C of C, I believed that my God was humble enough to die on a cross once adn hold it over my head till the end of time. As a papist, I believe He continues to humble Himself everyday by showing up as what to everyone else is a rather tasteless circle of matzo. Changes my whole view of Him. I wanna snuggle Him every chance I get. If He's humble enough to show up as a cracker...buddy, I'm willing to get on my face in front of a cracker. I just wanna be near Him. So ya'll, all that other stuff pales in comparison for me. Eucharist. That's where it's at.
I hope that's not offensive. If it is, please blame the Prosecco. I just had to get it off my chest. It's been hurting me not to say it. Eating at me not to tell ya'll. I may be a big old fashioned nut, but if my God is hanging out somewhere and I can rub my finger across His face, I'm there. I don't care how awful the priests are, or how weird Purgatory sounds. I hope ya'll can still be my friends knowing that I'm sneaking time away from the family to go talk to what everyone else would think is a wheat thin. But, when I see that tabernacle. When I see that little candle. When I get as low as I can on the carpet and say to myself "Behold the Lamb of God." I'm more confident and more free and more myself than I've ever been in my life.
all i can say to that is,
here you come along and lay it all out there, passionate, full of heat and belief and you are believable and it's nothing like that jesus-as-lover b.s. that you hear on the radio and i wonder, i wonder, where can i go get me some passion like that?
Friday, March 16, 2007
Last year I underwent a "procedure" to repair a heart condition that I was born with. This week I have been hit with vertigo. Oh, it's all fun and positive thinking until you take a hit on your grades because you cannot drive to class much less make it through an hour without having the room—and your stomach—spin out of control at the same time.
Where do positive thinking, wellness and illness meet? What is the dividing line between your body's response to internal (of the mind) and external (of the body, fate, germs, heredity, etc) factors? What are the roles of God and faith in God in maintaining, achieving or recovering wellness? Or illness?
What illness has done for me this week: Made me extremely grateful that I live here and now and have the money and insurance coverage to go to the doctor for prescriptions. I am extremely grateful that I am much better today than I was Tuesday. I DO pray that I recover completely, that this never happens again, that it was a fluke. I DO pray for a forgiving, not judging, spirit when others fall ill. Maybe that's the most important thing?
Friday, March 09, 2007
letter submitted today to the Tallahassee Democrat. Getting sick to death of self-righteous Christians (and others) who want nothing to do with rehab but think more people in jail is just fine.
In the March 8, 2007 on-line edition of the Washington Times, Representative Sandra Adams (Rep) is quoted in an article about the Anti-Murder Act recently passed by the
"These individuals are the worst of the worst." "I say let's lock them up. They didn't take their chance, their opportunity." (
I have a brother who was discharged last year after serving 10 years in prison. The circumstances of his release and the on-going sabotage of his efforts to become the man he was created to be is the story of massive disinterest in the success of former prisoners. The main goal of release appears to be re-imprisonment. His experience has opened my eyes to the hurdles, hoops and barriers by which our justice system ensures failure rather than the rehabilitation and return to society of former law-breakers.
If members of our society truly understood this, there would be much outcry against the punitive approach of this proposed legislation. What would recidivism rates be if incarceration were truly a rehabilitative experience rather than a punitive measure?
What if part of a prison sentence included an intensive transition process once a prisoner was discharged? What if that transition process included ethical employees who took pleasure in the success of their charges?
The article further mentions that some black lawmakers suggested that “Florida needs to provide more services to help newly released inmates find a place in the world,” and quoted Rep. Curtis Richardson (Dem), as saying that Floridians “can never incarcerate our way out of crime.” This very valid point is not that crime should not be punished. The point is that our criminal justice funds are mis-spent on a system which metes out punishment and ensures failure instead of meting out punishment and helping to create success.
While I recognize that there are people who truly pose a danger to society, this proposed legislation is more about contributing to a culture which finds it easier to lock away offenders than explore options which, in the long run, will benefit all our society.
If you, as a citizen, think recidivism is a problem, form or join a group which helps newly-released prisoners develop the life-skills and job skills that will enable them to respond to freedom in productive ways. Give money, give time, give votes. Pray, even. Push for a rehabilitation of the criminal justice system and participate in a society which enables rather than hinders the transition from prisoner to citizen.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Three men sat stiffly in a row, trapped on a long commercial flight. Once the flight was airborne and the plane had leveled off, the man in the window seat abruptly said in a loud voice, distinctly and with confidence, "Admiral, United States Navy, retired. Married, two sons, both surgeons."
After a few minutes the man in the aisle seat stated through a tight lipped smile, "Admiral, United States Coast Guard, retired. Married, two sons, both Judges."
After some thought, the fellow in the center seat decided to introduce himself: "Master Gunnery Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, retired. Never married, two sons, both Admirals."