This post can also be found as a podcast here. If you want to go directly to mp3 download, click this link.
Maggie Kuhn, the Gray Panthers charismatic leader changed the face of society with regard to the elderly. She was a committed, hard-working woman who at age 65 began an organization that continues her tradition of fighting for a better life for all. Her advice for those who want to make a change in the world is, "Go to the people at the top - that is my advice to anyone who wants to change the system, any system. Don't moan and groan with like-minded souls. Don't write letters or place a few phone calls and then sit back and wait. Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind--even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants."
Okay, *fine* Maggie. You do make a compelling point. Guess I just need to "keep on keeping on". Now, I just *know* that slingshot is around here somewhere...
UPDATE: Please check out the whole article and share your thoughts with the writer if you feel so inclined. You can select David Niven from the drop-down menu here
Something I mentioned in the podcast that didn't make it into this post is the fact that the other big issue I had with this article is the portrayal of ministers "staying out of politics" as a positive or desirable thing.
There IS NO getting away from politics. It touches everything. It is, in fact, "made of people". And if we just keep trying to respond with charity to the new ways the far right finds of trashing every safety net we have, there's no way we'll ever be able to keep up. The "least of these" will be much better off if they get *justice* than charity, but we can't work for justice without getting some politics on us.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 12:49 AM
Monday, March 27, 2006
Just a reminder about my blog, Faithful Ohio, which I try to keep updated with events and commentary. I've asked (and am asking again) for people of faith in Ohio to submit guest commentaries and notices about upcoming events.
But to Pastor Rogers, issues like poverty and homelessness are why churches should stay out of politics.
I have started my own response to the article, but haven't had a chance to finish it yet. One thing people should be aware of is the fact that the We Believe group, which is mentioned in the article, is about uniting *diverse religious voices*. The point is to get away from issues that are polarizing and find issues that appeal to our common values that we can work together on. And when the minister says that people have tried to get him to be more political, while I don't know this for sure, I think he might be saying that people have pursuaded him to join B.R.E.A.D., a 10 year old organization made up of some of the same people as We Believe, and focussing on social justice issues on which a broad range of faith perspectives can agree.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 7:23 AM
Monday, March 13, 2006
Finally, sane religious voices are joining together to counter these folks.
Please do anything you can to help spread the word that, as the little people in Horton Hears a Who collectively shouted, "We are here!" We will need a pretty powerful microphone to be heard over the money and media access of the far right.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 9:12 PM
Friday, March 10, 2006
After a liberal church was targeted by the IRS for preaching political views and threatened with its tax-exempt status, it lashed out and argued that some conservative churches could be in the same situation. This led to several conservative churches in Ohio being investigated by the IRS.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 3:19 PM
Monday, March 06, 2006
I just put my second podcast online. When I came home from church yesterday, my husband Demetrius told me that he'd listened to the first one I did.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 3:50 PM
Friday, March 03, 2006
Crossposted at Faithful Ohio
"It centers in a few issues and on a few people, and it takes the nuances out of the debate around those issues and turns them into black-and-white issues," Ahrens said last week. "Some of those issues are questions about homosexuality, abortion and a definition of Muslims that is condescending and judgmental. Those are the issues that have been posited as the issues for Christians, but there are many of us who know that Jesus had a lot more to say about stewardship for the poor, about orphans and widows and others in need.
One of the most important things to do now, Rev. Ahrens said, is, like those tiny people on the dust speck in Horton Hears a Who, say "We are here!"
If you agree that it is important to help make sure that the dialog about values is more diverse and inclusive, please help spread the word about the new group, We Believe! and the upcoming press conference.
February 25, 2006A printable PDF of Rev. Ahrens letter can be found here.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 6:32 PM