What Was the Women’s March For?

People ask what the Women’s March on Washington was for, anyway, as if not rallying around a single discrete issue is mere silliness. To them, I say: if only there were a single, simple, self-contained issue. Gosh, wouldn’t that be great?

Here’s the thing. When trouble advances, women are pretty much always on the front line to confront it. Add to that, the interrelatedness of the issues on parade on January 21. Scratch the surface and you’ll see that climate change, immigration, health care, racism, education, the right to facts from a free (unthreatened) press, a woman’s right to choose safe and legal abortion, marriage equality, and economic justice intersect over and over again. These and more are too much for any one person to solve. And they just got a whole lot harder.

Epiphany’s Choice and the Environment: In Reverence to Honor, or in Fear to Destroy

Hang on, you there, packing up the Christmas lights, dismantling the tree, boxing up the crèche with its cast of characters and that long-tailed star. Christmas is not over. Sure, come December 26th, it may have been all over for the “Little Drummer Boy,” Bing Crosby, and the Nutcracker; but not quite for Christmas. The wise men are just now arriving. And those magi from the East, with their three auspicious gifts, are not simply late to the party. They inaugurate a whole new thing: public acknowledgment by the world’s powers, of a radically new kind of rule. They’re not the only ones who notice (cue the soundtrack for the dastardly villain). What gets me now, thinking as I have been about environmental issues in Jesus-ish terms, is how relevant the contrast between the wise men and Herod is still today.

Daily Dilemma Plus Beef Bone Broth and Barley Soups

Shaken. Oh, and stirred. Whomever you voted for on November 8, this election has left a lot of us shaken and stirred up, to boot.

How plan the day when the president-elect snubs the Constitution, a delightful friend has invited me for coffee and pie, religious do-gooders chisel away women’s rights, and a mere twenty minutes’ drive could have me on stunning mountain trails in bright sunshine? img_0064“I arise each morning,” E. B. White said, “torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and an inclination to enjoy (or savor) it. This makes it hard to plan the day.” Hard, indeed.

Five Reasons It’s So Daggone Hard to Talk about Environmental Issues in This Election

Number One: There’s just so much else! Between ferreting out and correcting lies, determining the relevance of sexual impropriety and serial bankruptcy, judging emails the nefarious contents of which still elude the best sleuths, the American Way vis-à-vis immigration, and ISIS oh ISIS,… who can talk about anything so multi-faceted and complex as the environment? Any edgewise that might exist barely lets another syllable slip in, much less the battery of words that a full treatment of environmental issues demands.

We Are Animals, Environment and Election 2016

We are animals. I don’t mean that figuratively (though given the mud-fest incivility of this election, a case could be made). I mean it literally and to consider in the context of this election. We are blood, bone, brain, and balls, composed of material stuff and animated by love, fear, and the pursuit of happiness. We Americans are just as much a part of our planet’s natural systems and the ecologies of our site-specific homes as is any barn swallow or humpback whale or spotted salamander. We forget this. We have forgotten this in arguments about walls and email and the economy and ISIS. We forget at our peril because there’s no future for our country with its Silicon Valley and Supreme Court and health care and Rust Belt manufacturing without attending with wise intention to environmental sustainability.

Flexibility in What Is Fixed — Constitution and the Bible

When Republicans opened the 112th Congress with a reading of the Constitution, they faced a challenge that threatened to undermine the whole purpose of the reading, to demonstrate adherence to the original document. The trouble, you see, is that the times they’ve gone a-changing… For one thing, blacks actually count today not as three-fifths of a person but as a whole person; and (gasp!) women have the right to vote. So they read a watered down version that simply left out the ugly stuff. But like the Bible, the US Constitution has a resilience that allows principles to remain while the context may change. Like the Bible, though, it requires intelligent, thoughtful interpretation of both those broad principles and the details that lie therein. Besides, if such documents were completely static, with no possibility to bend in meaning with new times and circumstances, they’d have passed into the ether of irrelevance long long ago.

“The Cornerstone of Liberty” ?

I happen to agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “the Bible is the cornerstone of liberty…students’ perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands,” but I doubt I’ve taken the same logic to arrive at that conclusion… or maybe even mean the same thing by it. (Oh, and one obvious caveat: I can’t quite follow the gender-exclusive assumption, being a girl and all. But anyhoo.) Among other things, the Bible’s multi-valence, its variety of perspectives and voices, literary styles and ethical ideas demands earnest wrestling, respectful listening, a willingness to learn and to adapt one’s opinions in the face of compelling evidence, and it can strengthen one’s sense of purpose, too. These are crucial to securing and maintaining liberty as a democratic society. And they make us capable of being for those we love in ways that help them become healthy, whole, productive, and maybe even happy. To come at the matter from the other side: simply reading the Bible narrowly and selectively, with no inquiry, conversation, or debate, and uncritically applying that single interpretation to one’s life (and everyone else’s, too) can make impotent or sociopathic “citizens” and even make us damaging to those we love. I’d like to think that the more one engages the text, learning about it while reading what’s in it, the less possible it is to use the Bible in such destructive ways. Just a thought.

Conservative Bible

Work is underway on a new translation of the King James Version designed to correct what its authors call a “liberal bias” in modern translations. Conservapedia, which claims to be “the trustworthy encyclopedia,” has determined to correct what it sees as “three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning are, in increasing amount:

  • lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts introduced by Christ
  • lack of precision in modern language
  • translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.”