GA 06.20.07 - Stand By This Faith

Well, the opening session of GA 2007 has come and gone. We observed three mile stones. Thirty years ago, we passed a resolution called "Women and Religion" calling us to examine and challenge sexist assumptions and attitudes, including sexist language. Ten years ago, we passed two business resolutions, one called "Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association" and the other called "Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities." In all three cases, we were called to move towards conscious, broader inclusivity, not just in theory but in practice, and called to start changing the world by examining our own house.

GA 06.21.07 - Happy Summer Solstice

Day 2 of GA 2007 has come and gone.  The highlights and the lowlights include:

Highlight: UUA President Bill Sinkford naming the elephant that's in the room and calling for us to consider how some of our grand old New England churches got to be so grand.  ie - consider reparations for slavery and what that would look like.

Lowlight: Attending the diversity workshop put on by DRUUMM where we were asked to name when we've felt marginalized at GA and having more than one Euro-American say that President Sinkford made them feel "marginalized" by calling us to consider our racially tainted past.  (It's a dangerous thing when someone learns a new word but not quite what it means.)

GA 06.22.07 - Rethinking Affirmative Action

Attended the Interfaith Alliance Breakfast this morning. Interfaith Alliance was co-founded by Denny Davidoff, a UU powerhouse and former Madame Moderator of the UUA. Its purpose is to provide a counter-point to the Religious Right and to demonstrate a positive role for religion. In partnership with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, one of their main campaigns right now is First Freedom First, in defense of the beleaguered anti-establishment clause of the First Amendment.

GA 06.23.07 - So Much For PeaceMaking

Last year at GA, the delegates voted to adopt "Peacemaking" as our Study Action Issue for the next four years.  Given that it was the only option, it showed that the SAI process was in need of revision.  Given that the language of the original text of the SAI was imo reactionary to the current war and potentially greatly divisive ("Let's decide once and for all whether UUs support "just war" or pacifism."), I was worried.  But I have been pleasantly surprised that the Commission on Social Witness and a core group of expert advisors have reframed the discussion, broadening it to encompass all aspects of Peacemaking, from the personal to the interpersonal to the international.

GA 06.24.07 - What Are You Doing Here?

Well, it's over... not with a bang, nor a whisper.  But pretty good. 

At noon there was the protest in front of the ICE offices.  (I was stuck at the booth but hear that it went well.)  Shortly before GA got to Portland there was a major ICE raid, parents were rounded up for deportation while their kids were at school.  Graduation parties were canceled, casting a pall on the entire community.  Some of the custodial staff at our hotels were affected.  In response, the UUA joined a coalition of groups to denounce the breakup of families.  Bill Sinkford spoke, and I hear he rocked.  As I've said before, this is one of those things that makes me so proud to be a UU.

Desperately Seeking Habeas

I didn't get back from Portland until almost midnight last night, an entire day of sitting in planes and airports. And I came back to a steam bath.

Before I left for GA, I had made plans to have brunch with Miles and then together we would attend the "Day of Action (to Restore Law and Justice)" rally in Senate Park. Co-sponsored by the ACLU, Amnesty International, NRCAT (National Religious Coalition Against Torture), and others, the purpose of the rally was to protest the U.S. perpetrated torture in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and call for the reinstatement of Habeas corpus, which was effectively suspended with the passing of the Military Commissions Act.

RIP: Brown v. Board of Education

In the seminal 1954 case, Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools was a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.  It recognized that "separate but equal" was a sham.  In 2007, this current Supreme Court struck down two separate cases (KY and WA) in which local school districts were trying their best to stay true to the original ruling, trying to desegregate their schools.  

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