Monthly Archives: April 2013

Gay Men’s Chorus Benefit Concert at UUCS May 10

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling has always been a great friend to Equality Loudoun and the LGBT community. We are pleased be co-sponsoring this event with them, along with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun, St. James United Church of Christ, and Loudoun Out Loud.

The concert will benefit the outreach work of People of Faith for Equality in Northern Virginia, a subset of the People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV). POFEV is an interfaith collaboration that seeks equal rights for all citizens through prayer, education, organization, and advocacy while challenging those who equate religious faith and intolerance.

It’s unfortunate that there are people who do equate those things (!), but it’s clear to most that it’s all over but the shouting. So let the bitter folk shout and whine while the rest of us sing. Hope to see you there!

Running Toward Danger – Now That’s Courage!

Heartless psychopaths planted two home-made pressure cooker bombs loaded jam packed with tiny nails and ball bearings at the finish line at the Boston Marathon last Monday.

27,000 runners from 96 countries converged on Boston to run a race repeated every year since 1897.

When the container ripped apart from the exploding powders within, projecting shrapnel from the torn cooker, hurling nails and ball bearings indiscriminately, it cut legs, maimed, and even killed three innocents including an eight year old boy who had just congratulated his Dad on finishing the long race.

Unaware of any danger, distracted, celebrating a world-renowned athletic event convened on Patriots Day, runners, family, and friends were enjoying a grand race on a day that honors our revolutionary spirit, when our forbears resisted British rule at the battles of Lexington and Concord. Continue reading

Juvenile Injustice In Our Schools

Many students and parents are rightly upset that school principals, administrators and counselors conspire and combine with police assigned to the schools (called “resource officers”) to make schools more like prisons.

Police are assigned to almost every school with one principal function being to criminalize what used to be student discipline, to stigmatize young students, to compromise their futures – what schools they may attend and what jobs they may aspire to have.

Nor is this some informal arrangement between the school and the police.  It’s the law.  Virginia Code Annotated Section 22.1-279.3:1 spells out how student discipline at the school transmogrifies into a crime.

This offensive pincer movement, by which the state combines a school disciplinary action with a criminal prosecution has prompted righteous fury among students and parents for the students have been denied the basic protections any adult would enjoy in his defense. Continue reading

Culture of Death

Culture of Death

This letter appeared in today’s Purcellville Gazette (warning 12Mb .pdf file).

“If there were no guns in the house, a drunk 16 year old would have been taken home by the Sheriff’s Department. No one would be DEAD.” So said a friend of the late Caleb A. Gordley in an online comment. No amount of ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ excuse making can change this unassailable fact. If Donald West Wilder hadn’t had a gun, or if he hadn’t made the choice to shoot Caleb, Caleb would be alive today.

Three letter writers last week tried to justify the killing. John Phillips, speaking for Mr. Wilder, said “[P]eople will play politics with this…I did the right thing.” Kevin Fitzpatrick asked “What about the guilt [Wilder] will live with for the rest of his life because of a string of poor decisions made by some teenagers.” Jim Schatz first described the shooting as “accidental,” but then claimed that Mr. Wilder was “required” to use deadly force. Required by whom?

Mr. Schatz also cites something he calls “God-given rights to self-protection.” We understand that it’s fashionable in some circles to claim that whatever one wants to do is a “God-given right,” but this is a fabrication. When Peter cut off the ear of one sent to arrest Jesus, Jesus admonished him, telling the apostles “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” In the story of the “Good Samaritan,” Jesus explicitly told his followers to put first the needs of others, NOT a concern for their own safety. Jesus also did not speculate about a “string of poor decisions” made by the man who was tended to by the Samaritan. We have a responsibility (not a right) to love our neighbors – including especially a teenager so drunk that he has mistakenly climbed in the wrong window. Claiming that the “right” to protect property is more important than the life of another person is worship of the creation, not the Creator. The inevitable result is a culture of death.

David and Jonathan Weintraub, Lovettsville

Louie’s Lock and Load Eatery

John Flannery with his six shooter

I’m Louie, originally from up around Pleasant Avenue in Manhattan, the “Big Apple,” where we have the Sullivan laws and guns are verboten.  We got a crazy Governor who is imposing even more stringent gun laws.  Who needs that?  It’s nature’s way to thin the herd – violence I mean. Guns don’t kill people. It’s the men with guns who kill people.  They’d do the same thing with a jack knife.

So I came to the hand gun capitol of the world, Virginia, where a man can wrap his hand around a gun and carry it almost anywhere. I could feel the air fill my lungs with liberty when I crossed the Potomac.  This is a place that understands the Second Amendment. Continue reading

anti-leak SOS PAC demands Benghazi-leaks

An angry, angry Frank Wolf

The newly-formed “Special Operations Speaks” PAC is actively supporting Congressman Frank Wolf’s H.Res. 36, a bill to create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi and essentially produce a wiki-leaks like trove of information about the attack and the response. The SOS PAC includes noteworthy christianist warrior LTG William G. (Jerry) Boykin who made “fiercely anti-Muslim” remarks on NBC Nightly News and the Los Angeles Times, and claimed that George W. Bush was “put by god in the White House,” and that the war on terror is “a spiritual war against a spiritual enemy, and that enemy’s name is Satan.

In their open letter, the SOS PAC demands the release of all manner of classified operational information. Ironically, the SOS mission statement condemns certain leaks (emphasis mine).

“We, as veterans, legatees, and supporters of the Special Operations communities of all the Armed Forces, have noted with dismay and deep alarm the recent stream of highly damaging leaks of information about various aspects of America’s shadow war in the overall War on Terror.”

The story was reported in the Daily Mail Online, where scary Benghazi photos are framed against a storyboard of Hollywood celeb gossip.

Castle Doctrine Meet Personhood

Kyra Gracie - MMA fighter

She meant you harm. She meant harm to your family, your property, and she had the capability. She could kill you with a pen knife, a pencil, a piece of dental floss, or her bare hands. You shot her. You were “required*” to do so. You “did the right thing.” You are a hero.

But the autopsy reveals that she was six weeks pregnant, and in Kansas and fourteen other states, human life begins at fertilization. That fetus she was carrying is a “person.

Did the fetus little person intend to harm you too? The little person was in your home castle. So you shot her too. She was no innocent little person. She was a home invader, like her mom. Bye bye little one. You made my day.

*required” according to Jim Schatz’s April 5, 2013 letter to the editor of the Purcellville Gazette.

Equal Justice Under the Law – Unless You’re Gay

Our Governor is not the worst homophobe in America but he is a contender.

Our Commonwealth is not the worst in its intolerance of gays but it’s got nothing to be proud of either.

In Loudoun County, we have a Board of Supervisors indifferent to the fact that one of its members, Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, is a gay bashing demagogue.

I wrote each member of the Board of Supervisors to ask them to disavow this bigotry.  Our Board has no shame in its silence. As that old 60s tune went, “Hello Darkness my old friend.”  Janet Clarke wrote she felt no obligation to respond at all.  And she didn’t.  By their silence, may we know them. Continue reading