pegkerr: (Fealty with love valour with honour oath)
I went to adult bible study before church. Pastor was talking about today's text from Isaiah, which he was basing his sermon text upon rather than today's Gospel text. It's the famous part, often called "The Peaceable Kingdom." Here's the text:

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

4But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

5Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

6And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.

7Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.

9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.

10Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah, 11:1-10
This is a text often used during Advent because Christians recognize the shoot from the stump of Jesse as Christ, descending from the house of David. (As usual, I raised my hand and spoke about my habitual irritation that the first chapter of Matthew traces Jesus's ancestry, from father to son ONLY--no women here--through Joseph back to David. And wasn't that pointless, since the story of the virgin birth means that Joseph had nothing to do with Jesus' ancestry. As usual, Pastor acknowledged my point and moved on.) Pastor went on to mention that people reading this in Isaiah's time would take this as being about a newly crowned king, like, say, Hezekiah. I looked at the description of the ideal king here ("The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,/ The spirit of wisdom and understanding,/The spirit of counsel and strength, / The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. / And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, / And He will not judge by what His eyes see, / Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; / But with righteousness He will judge the poor, / And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth"). That doesn't sound a lot like Trump, I thought, sadly considering the recent election. He is so gullible that he bases his reasoning on every baseless thing he sees on the internet, and as for judging the poor and deciding with fairness for the afflicted, no. He sounds like the opposite of that. And the peaceable kingdom sounds like the opposite of Trump's America.

As Pastor continued, I idly started flipping back further to look for references to David and stopped suddenly when a bit of poetry jumped out at me from the middle of a passage of prose. I looked at the top of the top of the page, and read "The parable of the trees." Now, trees, as readers of this blog know, is a subject of particular fascination for me, but I didn't remember this at all. Here is the bit that caught my eye, which is taken from Judges 9:8-15:
“8The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
And they said to the olive tree,
‘Reign over us!’
9
But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I cease giving my oil,
With which they honor God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

10
“Then the trees said to the fig tree,
‘You come and reign over us!’
11
But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit,
And go to sway over trees?’

12
“Then the trees said to the vine,
‘You come and reign over us!’
13
But the vine said to them,
‘Should I cease my new wine,
Which cheers both God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

14
“Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘You come and reign over us!’
15
And the bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you,
Then come and take shelter in my shade;
But if not, let fire come out of the bramble
And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’
Read this commentary here.

My goodness, I thought. That's Trump, that's absolutely Trump. Read the verses around the parable, too, Judges 8:22 through the entirety of Judges 9 and the wikipedia entry here. He won his throne by treachery, climbing over a heap of bodies (think the Republican primary and then the general election). He is like the bramble; the other trees bore fruit, but the bramble bears only hurtful thorns, and when the other trees turned to him, he revealed only a penchant for selfish ambition and treachery. And that's what Trump has done, too. All he has for us is thorns.

And note the manner of his death: After cutting a swath through and killing thousands of his own people, he is hit on the head by a woman who throws a millstone down on the top of his head from the top of the tower he is besieging. Get this, he beseeches his armor-bearer to kill him so that he wouldn't be known as a man defeated by a woman. I guess treachery goes hand in hand with misogyny.

If the parable can be truly be applied today, putting Trump in the role of Abimelech, it suggests that Trump and the Republicans will end up destroying each other. And the Republicans should have seen it coming, but no, they started with treachery, and started robbing people and jostling for power, causing Trump to take revenge, and so they will reap what they have sown.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 24: Hamilton
I have been listening to it NON-STOP!

Week 24 Hamilton

I bought the entire soundtrack for $2.00 (LEGALLY) when it was on sale for that price on Google Music. The show has its hooks in me (as it does in so many other people I know). Fiona's a fan, too, and we love to exchange tidbits of knowledge we've gained about the show, the production, the actors. She is going to GO SEE IT in June and I am so very jealous.

Week 25: Hope
I'm seeing a glimmer of light on my journey.

Week 25 Hope

This image depicts a woman on a journey (remember Week 3, Embark, the last card on this post?) who sees a lighthouse shining from shore and starts to feel a little bit of hope. This was the week I learned I had been given a grant by the Dislocated Workers Program from the State of Minnesota. I am going to be receiving training in a lot of the concepts and programs I need to have to change careers from legal administrative assistant to marketing.


Week 26: Dance
This was the week of Excellent Cancer News.

Week 26 Dance

I picked this picture from The Tutu Project, one of the amazing photographs taken by Bob Carey in support of his wife Linda Carey, who has been battling breast cancer. Yeah, okay, we're not battling breast cancer here, but it's about the spouse of someone with cancer. It's trying to bring humor and happiness to something that's often very grim. It just seemed to fit this time.

Week 27: Training
I begin to learn new things.

Week 27 Training

Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing. Landing pages. Adobe InDesign. A/B testing. Etc. Let's hope it will result in a new career direction.

Week 28: Caucus
I took Fiona, and we both did our civic duty.

Week 28 Caucus

Fiona and I were both agonizing as we walked through the door until I hit upon a simple solution: "I'll vote for Hillary. You vote for Bernie. We'd be happy to vote for either one in the general election." And that's what we did.

Week 29: Flu
Everthing is a painful, feverish blur.

Week 29 Flu

The flu hit both Rob and me HARD. Think gray mindlessness, with fever and aches lurking below.  I started on Wednesday of that week. After a week and a half, I ended up at the hospital, getting intravenous fluids. The flu shot didn't do a damn thing for me.

Week 30:  
Not today
Nothing will get accomplished today.

Week 30 Not Today

Yes, this is still a one word title. Well, a word combined with a graphic.

This card was created because I became impatient after four days of the flu. Surely I should be getting better by now? I kept fretfully listing off things to Rob that I should be doing. He lay in bed beside me, sick as I was, and replied "Not today." And when I tried to stagger out of bed and take three steps, I would fall back into bed and repeat after him, "Not today." The whole week was like that.
pegkerr: (Glory and Trumpets)
I am so happy about today's Supreme Court decision that I feel as though I am on the verge of exploding.

I had hoped I would see this one day, but now that it's actually here...wow.

Best. Pride. Weekend. Evah.

Here are some links.

The Supreme Court Marriage Equality decision, in haiku.

19 hysterical passages from Supreme Court Same Sex Dissenters.

[Suck it, Scalia.]

And I also wanted to say this: I want to remember all of those who hoped and prayed and sweated and worked and marched and fought for this day, yet did not live to see it. My interest in gay civil rights began when I was researching The Wild Swans, and it has only continued to become more passionate and burning as I have watched the changes in American culture over the past two decades. I am utterly convinced that the nation would have not progressed to this point had it not been for the AIDS epidemic, for all the brave, dying men who realized that they had to come out of the closet, in order to fight the cruelest of diseases, to fight their shamefully complacent and criminally uncaring government, to fight for their right to have their partners visit them in the hospitals, for their renters rights, their inheritance rights. A generation of men were forcibly outed to their astonished families because of AIDS, and Americans had to really face for the first time that the people that they casually, unthinkingly denigrated were in actuality their beloved sons, their brothers, their fathers, their uncles, their cousins.

A whole generation of amazing creative talent was lost. But their tireless activism changed the face of America for those that followed them.

I want to light a candle for Sean and Elias, and for all the others with their names on the AIDS Quilt. Thank you for your fight, and for the way you changed this nation. We will not forget your courage, your faith, and your sacrifice.

Edited to add: Someone pointed this out on Facebook, and I think it's important: in the joy of this victory, I don't want to forget or exclude in the celebrations this weekend the other sisters and brothers on this journey: those who identify as bi and trans (or questioning or asexual for that matter). There are all sorts of points on the rainbow continuum, and they need to be assured of their full rights as American citizens, too.

Another thing: it's entirely possible that there will be people who will joyfully post their wedding photos online, only to be fired the next day. You can STILL lose your job for being gay in more than half the states. We still have a lot of work to do.
pegkerr: (Default)
An interesting article, a review of a book about literary fame here.

The always wise Jim Hines ([livejournal.com profile] jimhines) has a pithy list outlining the nature of depression, here. Much of it looks extremely familiar.

I have been busting a gut laughing at the Twitter hashtag TedCruzCampaignSlogans. Especially now that on the first full day of his campaign, CNN has pinned him into admitting that he, the tireless hater of Obamacare ('We must repeal it!') is going on Obamacare himself now that his wife has left her employer, Goldman Sachs to join him on the campaign trail, and so his family has no healthcare coverage. The delicious, delicious irony.
pegkerr: (HP Politics)
If you are interested in the upcoming local election and particularly the Minneapolis mayoral race, I’d like to recommend [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer, who has been garnering a growing devoted following for her analysis of and endorsements in local political races. Her posts are an excellent one-stop for gathering information about the candidates, and the comments of her readers are helpful, too.

At the very least, her posts are fun to read: political analysis with a healthy dose of snark.

She hasn’t yet worked her way through all 35 candidates, but keep checking back at her Livejournal, and she’ll post more. At any rate, here are the posts so far:

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 1: THE CLOWN CAR

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 2: Anderson, Anderson, Andrew, Baxter, Benjegerdes

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 3: Bennett, Bruyere, Carney, Cherryhomes, Clark

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 4: Cohen, Everett, Fine, Gorman, Gould

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 5: Hanna, Hartwig, Hodges, Iverson, Kahn

Election 2013, Volume 1, Issue 6: Kelly, Lane, Mann, Rahaman, and Rea
pegkerr: (Default)
Here's an excellent post from [livejournal.com profile] lydy about what a definitive difference food stamps made for her at a critical point in her life. An article published in Salon today is a good counterpoint.
pegkerr: (Excellent you seem to be coming to your)
I have been thinking quite a bit about this article the last couple of days. Marriage equality has come to Minnesota, but some people, apparently are all about the 'Oh Noes!' and 'The moral downfall of our state' and 'Hate the sin and love the sinner.'

I've been probing my own feelings about this. It's difficult: I want to both mock and get angry. Part of my emotion comes from the fact that when I was much, much younger, I suppose I would have been disapproving of marriage equality--if I had even thought about it, which no one I knew did back in the 80s. Why did my opinion change? It was because I came to actually know some gay people, and it all crystallized because of all the research I did for The Wild Swans. The other reason was that I hear echoes of my Dad in some of the words here. I called him on it, strenuously, when I scolded him for his vote in Georgia. I do wonder if I would have been able to change his mind if he had lived long enough to vote on the matter in Minnesota. I would like to think so. He was certainly ashamed of himself when I explained to him that he had, entirely without realizing it, voted against civil unions too when he cast his vote in Georgia, which he hadn't intended to do.

I remember the conversation I had with a co-worker a long time ago about gay civil rights. She was very conservative, and I tried to open her mind a little. She got quite offended, and as she stalked back to her desk, she said something revealing: 'I'm too old.' As in too old to change her mind? That comment has always haunted me.

This article, "Why Privilege is Hard to Give Up" was fortuitously timed to reflect upon the first article I linked above. It's true: these people have been accustomed for so long to think that their marriage, cis-gendered heterosexual marriage, is the only real marriage. And now they're throwing a tantrum because their privilege is being taken away. Despite my tug of sympathy (I came from a place where I understood that point of view) I can't help but think that their tantrum makes them look ugly and clueless. And even MORE ugly in protesting 'Don't call us bigots!'

Um. Cluebat? You are bigots.

There's a little tragedy buried in that article, too. One of the commentators, going on about 'Hate the sin, love the sinner' notes that he has a son who is gay. But they don't talk very much anymore. He also said sadly that his son identifies as an atheist.

GEE, I WONDER WHY?! Could it be possibly because you've been doing such an extraordinarily lousy job of modeling God's love to him that he's decided, "You know, for my own self-preservation, I don't want any part of a 'loving God' who looks like that. Who judges and rejects me for the way He created me."

Changing minds is hard. But it's worth doing. I have a great deal of respect for the guy who is doing the blog My Obama Year, a conservative who decided to take a year to really delve into and try to understand all the liberal opinions and stands he's been reflexively rejecting for years.

See also this post I made about changing hearts and minds.
pegkerr: (Bloody brilliant!)
with the results of the election. I'm particularly happy that the Marriage Amendment of Minnesota went down to defeat, and proud that I phone banked against it. It's the first time I've volunteered with a political campaign like that. Yes, gay marriage is still illegal in the state of Minnesota, but at least it isn't written into our constitution. I'm delighted that the Photo ID amendment was voted down, I'm happy that Elizabeth Warren was voted in, in Massachusetts. I'm sorta happy that Obama was re-elected, but mostly I'm ecstatic that Mitt Romney was defeated.

And I'm happy that Fiona voted in her first Presidential election evah. (Not her first election, mind: being her mother and daddy's daughter, she has already faithfully voted in some primary elections.).

(But Michele Bachmann is going back to Congress. Boo! Please don't judge the rest of us Minnesotans by her politicians of her ilk, USA.)


And now, a victory lap by Obama's Anger Translator. Hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] sdn:

pegkerr: (Default)
Posting this especially for Fiona and Delia, Whedon fans. Hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] lsanderson


pegkerr: (Default)
Don't forget to vote! (This includes you, Fiona, who will be [I hope!] voting in her very first election].

I was the 8th person to vote at my precinct this morning.
pegkerr: (HP Politics)
[livejournal.com profile] haddayr says (and I could say almost exactly the same thing):
One of my dearest heart-friends is [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer, who is hilarious, smart, well-informed, and deeply opinionated. If you want to make a more informed choice in the upcoming primaries, take a look at Naomi's vigorous look at the candidates.

Even if you don't live around here, her roundups of elections are delightfully funny, often casually cutting, and generally great fun to read.
pegkerr: (Default)
Maybe all month: here:
"@LegendMG: The thing that bugs me most about North Carolina; Jesus had two dads."
Also: my favorite fictional president, Josiah Bartlet (@Pres_Bartlet) made a speech, on Twitter no less, in response to yesterday's events (link here):
The following is a speech given on twitter by the account of the fictional President Bartlet from the television show The West Wing, on May 9, 2012, about the passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, and directly preceding President Obama's endorsement of Gay Marriage. Each line represents one tweet. President Bartlet can be followed on twitter @Pres_Bartlet

To those who want to retaliate against North Carolina for their vote my moving the DNC: You are going about this all wrong.

If anything, the vote in North Carolina is a sign that we need to spend more time in this state, not less. We still have minds to change.

To give up the task of reforming society is to give up one's responsibility as a free man.

When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.

I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find that we are turned to hating.

Cry, The Beloved Country, For The Unborn Child That's The Inheritor Of Our Fear.

Alan Paton's words are as true today as they were in his day.

There is only one thing that has power completely and this is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power.

It would be easy to be consumed by anger and hatred right now. I suggest that instead we commit ourselves to love and forgiveness.

Let our message be the message of love. Of the belief that all men and women who share love should be treated equally under the law.

Will it be harder for @BarackObama to win reelection if he comes out in support of gay marriage? Maybe. I can see the argument.

I have found in my many, many years in politics that doing the hard thing is usually the same as doing the right thing.

We are, here and now, setting the conversation for the next generation. If we refuse to stand up, we are failing our children.

We are failing our brothers and sisters, or mothers and fathers, our fellow men and women of this country. We are failing them.

For those of you worried about energizing the base of the GOP, I have to tell you, they are already energized.

[At this point, the news breaks that Obama endorses gay marriage]

Game on.
pegkerr: (Excellent you seem to be coming to your)
I'm still reading news and analysis on it. But the icon really says it all. Thumbs up.

I think the Republicans will realize, oh maybe in the next ten or fifteen years that they were really on the wrong side of history on this. By that time, they will have lost the next generation. My daughters are definitely two of 'em.
pegkerr: (Default)
Two good pieces of commentary re: Amendment One and Christianity.

How Evangelicals, with their stand against gay civil rights, are turning off the young from Christianity: How to win a culture war and lose a generation.

A challenge to both sides of the Amendment One debate (from the blog "Crumbs from the Communion table." The author is a gay Christian living in North Carolina.) Edited to add: [livejournal.com profile] piccolo_pirate notes: The author of the "Crumbs from the Communion Table" blog is actually Justin Lee, the Executive Director of the Gay Christian Network, which is a fabulous resource for anyone struggling to reconcile their faith and sexuality, or just looking to find other gay Christians.
pegkerr: (Default)
Here's a great way to celebrate Women's History Month.


Really well done.
(This was done by the same people who did "Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration." You can download the .mp3 for that one here.)

Also: Here's a teaser video they did, which gives you some glimpses into the making of the video.
pegkerr: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] cakmpls pointed this one out: here's a sickening story of the real world consequences when misogyny like Rush Limbaugh's permeates the culture. I've been watching the Rush Limbaugh story with a great deal of interest, and I'm pleased that his advertisors are dropping him. I hope that's a permanent change.

This essay also has a link to sign a petition to have Limbaugh taken off Armed Forces Radio. You do have to create an account at whitehouse.gov to sign, but all you have to give is your name, an email, and your zip (you can always make it up if you want).

I've spent the last two days trying to convince my 16 year old that she is not a "slut."
pegkerr: (Default)
An interesting article in the Washington Post about an internet meme springing up, which photoshops the image of the cop spraying the protestors at UC Davis into all sorts of famous paintings. See the Tumblr here. The closest similar example I can think of were the various photoshop jobs that added pictures everywhere of Princess Beatrice's hat, or Aretha Franklin's hat at Obama's swearing in.

What do you think? Is it a mistake to turn this episode into a joke? Or is it a clever commentary on the nature of brutality against peaceful protest, and a useful device to shame the cop?

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