Friday, March 12, 2010

Gay Marriage and the Order of Birth

If you haven't seen Carol Howard Merritt's excellent essay regarding why clergy members risk their careers in order to support gay marriage make a beeline for it now.  You can find it on Huffington Post.  She makes a solid and moving case for the equal rights of GLBT people.

In addition to Carol's moving portrayal of a gay man's funeral, the need for blessing same sex unions involves another fundamental right  but this one involves the children of GLBT people -- to have state recognized married parents.  We are already seeing cases move through the courts of children denied the right of visitation for both same sex parents.  In one instance, a lesbian couple had a child through insemination.  The birth mother later joined a Christian cult and repented of her lesbian "sin."  She took the child and moved to a conservative state where a homophobic judge has denied visitation rights to the other parent.

A few years ago while working in a children's hospital, a nurse named Sam adopted with his partner a baby born with multiple health problems including cancer.  A year later, the baby died at eighteen months old and I officiated at a bereavement service to honor him and other children who had died in the previous year.  When we called the baby's name, Sam and his partner proceeded to the altar and lit a candle in the boy's name.  After the warm light illuminated even the darkest sadness, Sam and his partner broke down and wept for their lost son.  They grieved as human beings, a couple, a sanctified union -- they grieved as parents.

The following year, Sam and his partner adopted another little boy.  They met me in a hallway and asked me to bless their child.  

"I want to do more," I said.  "I want to bless you as a family."  We gathered in a circle, two gay men and a pastor and we held the baby.  "Gracious God, Bless this family.  May their union always know your love and support."  We each shed our own tears of joy.

The homophobic fundamentalists preach that there is sin in the very act of lovemaking among gays and lesbians, and yet look what love made in Sam's family -- a baby boy carried to heaven and another baby boy with the potential for long life.  Sin cannot exist where there is so much love and Sam's family embodies love in abundance.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pizza and Pugs!

Since traveling to visit my sister in NYC last year and re-aqauiting myself with Italian cooking, I've been making pizza from scratch.  I've finally perfected THE METHOD.  I cook it out on my gas grill with a pizza stone on the grate.  It's just like what you'd pay too much money for from a greasy pizzeria.  But so much better.

Inside the grill, I get the temperature at a constant 550 degrees and then put the pizza  topped with whatever I want, on the stone.  I watch it pretty carefully, making sure the crust turns a bubbly, crispy brown and then I slide it onto my pizza paddle.  (Yeah, I own one of those.  Deal with it.) It tastes just like a wood fired pizza.  Yum.

But it wasn't all good pizza all the time.  I managed to drop a bunch of flour and cheese onto the kitchen floor which meant I had to get out the vacuumn cleaner or as I like to call it, Lord Watson Wellfleet, my adorable Pug.  Here's his photo and admire PugMan.  The beauty with him is my lovely daughter, Blythe.

Just so Ya'll know, Watson lost a few pounds since this photo was taken.  I took a pretty good tongue-lashing from the vet last year because of Watson's girth.  His kibble portion's been cut in half and he's been whining ever since.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Jutting Chin Meets Big Ass

  I'm listening to hypnosis tapes these days, hoping and praying I'll lose some weight.  I could just eat less but why deprive myself of handing out bucks to the diet industry.  Someone has to help with the economic recovery and I'm doing my part.
  Hypnosis lady sounds just like Lucy from the Charlie Brown specials.  Even with her droll voice she managed to get my attention.  Fat people are not emotionally weak but very strong, she said.  Despite a very public and personal plumpness, they've managed to soldier on in our thin-obsessed society.
  I am a person of a "certain weight" and eventually I would've forgotten hypnosis lady's point except within minutes of turning off the recording, I saw heft take charge.
  I walked into a community center in a small town to deliver some information about hospice and I was greeted by a woman, even larger than me, in western style vest and shirt.  She smiled big as the moon.
  "Come on this way, honey.  The booths are waitin' for you to cast your vote."
  "Right," I said catching on.  "Today's the primary, but I'm not here to vote.  I'd like to leave information about hospice."
  "Isn't that nice.  What a fine program.  You put it up here," and she showed me a bulletin board.  I looked for a way to hang the information.
"I wished I'd brought some pins."
"Don't worry," and she took the pin of another organization's bill and pinned up my fliers.  "Your message is more important."  She smiled some more -- a genuine, "I'm happy and I hope you are too," smile.  Not grumpy, frumpy or dumpy only confident.
  I will never be happy about my weight but I can be happy about me.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human one.
Teilhard deChardin