Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I Love Performing Weddings!
I went to seminary because I wanted to be a resource for people in my faith community. But I also studied for all t hose years so that I could be ordained, which means (for some strange reason) I can legalize a marriage.
I wanted to be where the action is. I am so lucky! I get to be 12 inches from the faces of people in love. I get to see them smile, cry, laugh, to watch their chin shake as they say the most poignant words they will ever say - their vows.
The dresses change, the attendants, the ring settings (there's such a variety!) - they all change from wedding to wedding. But those loving looks, the sudden shyness, the grasping hands trying to hang on to their old life while leaping into a bright new future together. It's all there every single time.
And I love it.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sly Web Advertisers - Webmatchers.net
I have nothing against someone making a buck, or being an entrepreneur - even if it's not in a traditional line of work. Heaven knows we need out-of-the-box, lateral thinkers these days. But August 8, 2008 I received an email from "Miss Casey Clarke" at Webmatchers.net. She was offering to pay me $100 to put an ad on one of this site's web pages for one year. It seemed harmless, and can't we all use a little extra cash. So I started an email to her saying great no problem, I'd researched their company and found things on the up and up. I didn't actually send the email, I just started it, then I started the research.
I looked at their web site - very sparse with mushy testimonials. The FAQ's sounded like their founder was a Bill Gates in training, starting it at home, etc. The names involved are very common, so I had trouble nailing down who these people are exactly. And my Google search of the company name didn't yield much either aside from their own web site URL.
Then I ran into this article: the 25 July 2008 entry at Geek Hideout: http://www.geekhideout.com/whatsnew.shtml
It details the same scenario - the email offer, the research - only this Geek Hideout guy really knows where to look! Turns out that, according to him, while legal, Webmasters.net is not using the Internet as the peaceful, equitable, loggia of knowledge it was imagined to be. They are scamming the system to make a buck for themselves and their clients who want to make disreputable sites look better by linking on mine!
Well, needless to say, I will not be joining the Webmasters racquet - I mean, team. But I have to take it as a compliment. Must be my own site IS reputable. It's a back-handed compliment, but thanks!
Any Oil Is Bad Oil
Here is a letter I sent to President G.W. Bush and my national representatives on July 15, 2008:
I oppose ending the ban on offshore oil drilling.
Instead of finding a way to get more oil to our refineries, we should be flooding renewable energy researchers with grant money for long-term solutions, and regulating oil speculators to improve pricing in the short-term.
Instead of focusing our efforts on breaking our dependence on "foreign oil," we should be breaking our dependence on oil, period.
Thank you for thinking long-term.
Redefine Marriage for the 21st Century
Here is a letter I sent on March 2, 2008 to my representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly and the United States Congress, and to the group called Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:
I believe that a religious marriage having legal standing is a blatant violation of the separation of Church and State, and invites divisive efforts like Constitutional Amendments defining who can marry, when that is a personal choice with no place in public discourse. "Marriage" is a religious sacrament, and has no place being involved in the legal system and automatically giving couples certain legal rights. As it stands now, nearly every single religiously-ordained person in the U.S. is a de facto official of the State by letting them sign the civil license.
This system is a holdover from the Holy Roman Empire ; therefore, in the 21st century, this erroneous connection between rights within a civil union and the personal and spiritual obligations of religious marriage should be abolished. It only exists because the Government and people in all States "don't want to do two things", even though, logically, obtaining legal status and obtaining religious blessing SHOULD be two separate things. This whole socio-political morass over same-sex marriages would be solved in a moment if "marriages" already performed were grandfathered as legal, and then ALL couples from that point on - whatever their gender combination - would be required to sign a civil union contract that determined things like shared taxes, inheritance rights, child custody, hospital visiting rights, and all other rights now associated with "marriage". Then either before or after signing such legal papers, the couple could go to their church of choice for whatever sanctification ceremony they wanted.
As always, individual States would be allowed to determine who can get a legal civil union, but no State or Federal government would or should ever be allowed to determined who is joined in HOLY matrimony. Religious ceremonies would likewise hold no legal standing, as it only right. Once marriage and civil union contracts are separate, all officiants would be allowed to exercise their religious opinions by marrying or not marrying same-sex couples, and people would either agree with them or not.
Please preserve the rights established by the Constitution and propose legislation to separate religious marriage from the legal rights and responsibilities of a civil union. Free and fair - now, that's the definition of "American."
Thank you for your time and kind consideration.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
There Is Hope!
My husband just came home with this true story. He said:
I was driving down the road with my window down today blasting Frank Sinatra's classic "My Way." I pulled up to an intersection, and as I was waiting for the light to change, another car pulled up with two young black guys in it, doo rags and everything in a jacked up car blasting some sort of rap song. They gave this funny look because my Frank was louder than their rap. They could see me singing away to whatever I was listening to, and I saw them turn down their own music. They listened for a few seconds, and started smiling and chucking. I figured they were just laughing at some crazy white guy blasting Frank Sinatra.
But they started singing along! So here were were, two cars and three guys singing "My Way" at the top of our lungs. People driving past were smiling.
I believe that unity is truly possible.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I heard the words "President Obama" for the first time today on NPR. Then when I got home, I saw footage of him walking next to President Bush 43 at the White House.
It was a difficult decision to vote for him over Cynthia McKinney, but North Carolina was SUCH as tossup, I knew my one litle vote would truly matter this year. And I wanted to make sure that it was someone with whom I agree 58% of the time rather than 23%.
Did you vote? I hope so, America!
At the end of Prairie Home Companion this week, everyone sang "God Bless America." It was very moving to be singing it a thte top of my lungs with them! (Even if I am for the separation of church and state! LOL)