succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, February 27, 2004

I know I'm both beating a point to death and preaching to the choir here, but I enjoy this editorial in the times. It doesn't say anything new or profound, but it's nice. And after sitting in the gallery during the local GA debate over same-sex marriage, it's on my mind again. (btw - the bill was 3 votes shy of passing and they're going to try again on Monday)

"In a world beset by ignorance and poverty and suffering, a world wracked with wars and terror attacks and ethnic strife of every kind, it seems crazy to be twisting ourselves into knots over the desire of good men and women to transcend the prison of themselves and affirm their love for another by marrying."


"The opponents of gay marriage are on the wrong side of history. The interests of civilization are not served by driving mature love underground. And the interests of the United States, which is supposed to be the quintessence of a free society, are not served by enshrining bigotry in law."

On the other hand there was a really well-written piece in the AJC a few days ago (I'd link to it, but I can't seem to gain access to the online archives) wherein the writer was both courteous and articulate, something I have found to be missing from most opponents of gay marriage. Anyway, her thesis was that the relationship of marriage is a "moral absolute" or at least, is symbolic of a moral stance, and that if one ascribes to the belief that homosexuality is "wrong" then allowing gays to marry is one step down a slippery slope of moral relativism. I don't agree with this particular point of view, and believe that in debate several holes could be shown in her rhetoric (she's in favor of full legal rights for gay couples but not marriage, leaving the whole marriage debate as nothing more than semantics, and how can semantics carry the weight of morality? anyway...) it was perhaps the first time I've found the opposing viewpoint presented in a carefully thought-out, and as I said, respectful way. She apologized for hateful words that have been used to describe gays and reminded readers that although christianity is a religion about love, sometimes it's followers fall short. She did not claim that gay marriage would ruin the institution of marriage itself or doubt the legitimacy of love between two partners of the same sex. It was refreshing.

Ok, enough procrastination. Three midterms next week. Just have to get to spring break...just make it to spring break...spring break...

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Climbing (and other good things)

So I've finally gotten back into a pseudo-regular climbing schedule. And the greatest thing happened last week - I got past a part of the wall I'd been stuck on since around xmas. Let me explain - the climbing wall is both wide/long and tall. So one can strap on a harness and safety rope and climb upwards or skip the safety rope, stay lower on the wall, and climb predominantly horizontally (bouldering). I've been sticking to the latter lately because I feel like I spend more time on the wall and thus get a better workout. Anyway. My big goal is to be able to work my way from one end of the wall to the other without falling. And I've been falling in the same place since around xmas. Then last week, I just reached for this grip and...voila. It was like I'd always been able to do it. Just naturally. And again today I made it further along the wall than I ever have before. Once you really get into it, moving along the wall is so freaking awesome. It just has this grace and ballet-ic quality to it...anyway. It was fabulous. Then again, I'm one of those weird athletic types who actually enjoys it when my arms are too sore to squeeze the shampoo bottle or even keep my hands above my shoulders long enough to wash my hair.

A totally unrelated topic, but also a "good thing" - on Good Morning America this morning they did a brief story about this couple who chose to adopt 5 (or 6?) sisters so they could all stay together. Which reminded me of my parents' friends from graduate school. (I may have told this story already, I heard it for the first time over xmas and was so impressed I might have blogged it already...anyway) The managers of the apartment complex my parents lived in during grad. school were this incredibly poor couple with a baby son. The child was unplanned and they barely had enough money to get themselves through school (he was going to law school, I can't remember what she was doing). So they managed the apartment so they could live there for free. The kid lived mainly off of powdered milk and other child welfare supplies. We're talking poor. they raise their son and get through school and the husband gets a good job at a law firm and they become financially stable. Better than stable. And it turns out they can't have any more children, but they'd like more, so they look into adoption. And they find this family of 3 siblings, and being the good sort of people that they are, they adopt all three so they won't be separated. It's nice to be reminded from time to time how good people can be. luke 3:11 - "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."

Sunday, February 22, 2004


Tom Tomorrow has a pretty good treatment of the Nader thing over on his blog. The important point (imo) comes at the very end.

"But here's the thing: I think the damage he will do is in re-igniting the liberal/left Civil War of 2000. To expand on something I wrote a few days ago: Nader's critique is, essentially, that there is a cancer on the body politic--and he's right about that. The problem in the year 2004 is that the body politic is also suffering from multiple wounds and blunt force trauma, we're in the emergency room and it's a damn mess and there's blood everywhere and the doctors are working furiously but it's anybody's guess how things are gonna turn out. We are in triage, and we have to deal with the immediate problems, or the long-term ones won't matter anyway." [emphasis mine]

I know no one likes choosing the lesser of two evils, but we have to operate within the paradigm we are given, even if that paradigm sucks and needs to change. Because if we ignore it, or attempt to operate outside it, then we lose any chance we have of changing it.