Sunday, December 21, 2008

Water for Christmas

All we wanted on Christmas Sunday at Brentwood Presbyterian Church in LA was an uplifting service with good music and a chance to say goodbye to the interim pastor we've had for 2 1/2 yrs., Charles Svendsen, as well as to the youth director, Angela Williams, who will be going to Fuller Theological Seminary full time.

We got that, but we also got an opportunity to give toward the funding of a piped water system (borehole) in Malawi, as our Christmas offering.

Safe water in Malawi was not the first thing on my mind this morning, but I'm glad I was pushed to think beyond my own cozy little Christmas.

We learned that 4,000 childen die each day around the world from unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene habits--a fact that knocks the socks off most of our Christmas consumer customs here in the US.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's All Boycott

The Prop. 8 debate continues in California.

Thanks so much, Steve, for informing us in today's LA Times about the boycott on a restaurant in West Hollywood, El Coyote. See his column at,0,5995847.column .

I don't understand why the owner of this restaurant was thinking her $100 could go unnoticed: she is well-known and her restaurant is right in the center of a gay district.

Whether she donated $100 or $100,000, she chose to join the debate over Prop. 8, and she is facing the answer to her political statement.

Use of the boycott is as American as apple pie--an important tool of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and the center of the new film about Harvey Milk.

I'm still boycotting the state of Utah for not ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment--I travel around it to get to Colorado.

I also avoid the southern states that refused to ratify when 35 states had approved this "PS, the Constitution applies to women too" amendment and only three more were needed to give women equal rights in this nation.

For the record, those states that did not see fit to approve the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution are:

Utah, Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia--all of which didn't even come close to ratifying.

Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina--states in which at least one chamber of the state legislature voted to ratify.

And then there are the states that ratified but later rescinded their ratification:

Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota.

Thanks to all these states, women in the US do not have a Constitutional guarantee of equality.

It's hard to boycott them all, but I do my best to stay west of the Mississippi, north of the Mason-Dixon line, and out of the remaining hotbeds of ignorance.

I'm waiting for the day when everyone who supports birth control, legal access to abortion, equal rights for women, and equal rights for GLBT folks will start boycotting the following:
* Catholic hospitals, schools, and colleges
* LDS hospitals, schools, and colleges
* Focus on the Family
* Evangelical churches and para-church organizations that donate or mobilize against women, GLBT, and reproductive choice.

These churches and organizations have mobilized their members and money against women, gays, and choice.

If all of us avoid their hospitals, don't send our children to their schools and colleges, and keep our money out of their offering plates, the changes we seek will come overnight.