America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Working with the religious right!

Before I start on my note, I have a Public Service Announcement to make: these puppies were found in the middle of the street a few days ago. They need homes. If you want one, let me know. I’ve got the hook up.

This morning, I am proud to announce a new social service project I’d been working on, set to kick off Monday – as it was the day Columbus found the new world – and it is my hope that with the new project, a we will find our new world as well. I’d love for you to join me.

For the last few weeks, as many of you know, I’ve been working hard in reaching out to the religious right to find common grounds on issues we can work together, toward a better world.

We may have found such with a Christian co-worker, who — although we have very little in common, shares my passion for wanting to change the world. This Monday, we will be in Hampton Roads neighborhoods with homeless persons, to clean up the neighborhoods. The idea is to hire these homeless persons for about three or four hours, to go around with bags and cleaning up the neighborhoods. I see this as a project that can be expanded from Hampton Roads to other areas, including Washington, D.C., once I relocate.

This project works for many reasons: first and foremost – it allows homeless people to earn money and a sense of worth. Secondly, it makes our community look much nicer, and is an environmental project. But most importantly, it’s the first step in uniting the religious right and the social liberals, encouraging them to work together toward a better America.

At the end of the day, the right cares about America very much – just as much as we do, but because of the gap in cultural differences, we’ve been removed in one another’s lives. This project is the first step of many, to bring the two sides together for a good cause.

I realize that to change the world, we must do so in a political sense. But the personal is political, and we must start uniting in a personal sense before we can do so in a political sense.

My goal for this is to start with Hampton Roads and eventually expand, bringing student groups and religious organizations together. If successful, we will apply for non-profit status, and I hope, become an NGO one day. In working together, perhaps we’ll be able to see one another has fellow human beings, rather than the enemy. Then, and only then, can we start to work together in other spheres, to make the world a better place.

I know many of you will be reluctant to do this, because of your past history with religion, which might have been hurtful to you. But let me say this – at the end of the day – it isn’t about you – it’s about what we can do to make America a better place. We all hurt – but there are others who are hurting more. It’s important to put our feelings and differences aside, so we can ease the pain of those other people.

If you are interested in helping on Monday, let me know. If you want to do this in your area, let’s work together – because we all do better when we work together!

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Feminism is my religion

In my circle of intellectual friends, be it at a cocktail lounge or progressive coffee shop, the question of, “What is your religion?” always seems to come up – and rightfully so. Understanding a person’s religion allows us a glimpse into their personal lives and values and convictions.

Often times, my answer – although I am a Unitarian Universalist, is that “love is my religion” – in short, that I believe in fairness, justice and equality. It’s a short way to explain what is sure to be quite a complex (yet simple) religion.

Lately, though, I’ve also told people I am a feminist because feminism also incorporates that values of UU-ism into its beliefs. I do wonder, though, which came first – am I a UU because I am a feminist, or am I a feminist because I am a UU?

This much I know: feminism, for me, is a religion. It is my religion not only because my political ideals are shaped by it, but also because I am required to, as a matter of the personal vs. the political, “act like a feminist,” and behave in ways that are feministic, and not a misrepresentation of feminism.

Just as Christians are judged based on the behaviors of a few bad apples, feminists can also be judged in such a way. Because of that, I feel the obligation to, at all times, act as “holy” as possible in a feministic ways. Although, because our beliefs are feminists might vary, it’s also a struggle to correctly represent all of feminism so that people do not misunderstand us, or fail to understand that ours is a just and right cause.

At least Christians have the Bible – and a code of ethics by which they must follow. What do we  have as feminists? Nothing. It seems aside from a big circle of support for one another, we rarely have anything to turn to as we navigate and wade through the complexities of what it means to be a feminist in our personal lives.

Is it wrong to buy clothes without knowing if they were made in a sweatshop? What about ownership of an animal (as been discussed over at feministing.com)? If and when we choose to get married, is it okay to have a traditional wedding, and let ourselves dream away of the perfect day?

As for gender roles, how much do we reject, and how much do we embrace, as to still be a part of a normal society? Is violence acceptable as a means to further our cause? Can “rough sex” be feministic? What if we enjoy music with misogynistic lyrics? As feminists, are we supposed to be vegetarians? What of preaching as feminists? Do we go door to door, or do we just live our lives and set good examples? Can a feminist, much like a Christian, be feminist in name only? How do we find out the answers to all these questions? To whom do we turn for answers? How do we know it’s the right answer? How can we deal live normal lives without compromising our values as feminists? How do we go on being feminists without, in the eyes of many, being annoying?

Sometimes, I wish there were a feminist Bible. Our lives would be much easier. But by no means am I bitching – nor do I have the right to. While it’s a challenge to have to question each and everyone of my own actions, I know that I am doing so from a privileged standpoint. There are millions of women who are living through the plight of being oppressed everyday.

But this, I believe, can start a good discussion on how we ought to act as feminists. The personal, after all, is political.



Scientists: only human females can get pregnant

It’s my intention that on Fridays, blogs will be light-hearted, yet still dealing with feminist issues. This here, then, is the first light-hearted post. It’s an article I wrote a few months back while in the shower. 

 NORFOLK. Va. – A 10-year study on human sexuality and reproduction showed that in the human species, 100 percent of those who get pregnant are women, while the percentage of pregnant men remains at zero, scientists from the National Organization for Scientific and Health Institute Technology announced Thursday.

Although the result of the study had always been widely speculated and believed by the majority of the population, NOSHIT leading scientist, Dr. Henry Anderson said the organization set out to do the study to prove conclusively that pregnancy is an ability inherently connected with the female gender, and  males have very little to do with the carrying and birthing of the fetus.

“While there were certainly no disagreements in the scientific community that this was how human sexuality and reproduction worked, there were many organizations that showed characteristics of resisting such a belief,” Anderson said. “So we set out to prove it once and for all.”

The result came from a 10-year study, spanning across five continents that consisted of both field and clinical studies of more than a million couples of child-bearing age. In every case, regardless of whether the pregnancies were planned or a surprise, the pregnancy was carried out by the female half of the couple.

While the results won’t change any contemporary findings in the scientific community, both the religious and political communities are reacting with passionate responses.

“This proves that we’ve always tried to tell the world – that the responsibility and privileges of pregnancy belong to women,” said National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy. “Because of that, the choice of whether to carry out or terminate the pregnancy also belongs to women.”

Gandy went on to point out that while 100 percent of those getting pregnant will always be women, legislatures who make laws regarding a woman’s ability to make decisions about her own body are mostly men.

“Even with the current Congress, 77 percent of those making decisions about reproduction are men,” she said. “There’s a discrepancy, and we hope to change that.”

Armed with the new scientific findings, Gandy said she hopes to work with legislatures and local communities to ensure the reproductive choices of women remain in the hands of those to whom they matter most – women.

Not everyone, however, reacted to the findings with opened arms. Long-time science-denier and televangelist Pat Robertson, speaking at a prayer breakfast in front of a group of Biblical Science students at Regent University, said he is still skeptical about the study.

“Science has done many great things for the world,” Robertson said. “But it’s also created the atomic bomb, gas chambers and tanks and other weapons, all of which have caused pain and sufferings to God’s children.

“I see this finding as being similar to the creation of those weapons. It’s using something that is inherently good to do evil – by that I mean the mass murders of millions of God’s children each year.”

 “To make such a bold proclaimation is to mean that rather than being humbled as we ought to be, we’re being prideful stating we know how God works, and that we know more than God. That leads to a society’s downfall.”

Along with Robertson and other religious organizations, the Christian Wives of America has also spoken regarding the findings.

“I don’t see what it proves,” said CWA president Bertha Green. “The fact of the matter is that we marry through the grace of God, and become one; so because of that, my body is my husband’s body, thus he will always have a say over what I do with my body and the choices I make.”

The mentality of those sharing Green’s belief, said Marc Lloyed, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance of ODU’s, is the reason the battles for women’s rights continued to be take a step backward.

“It’s not a matter of politics, and it’s not a matter of religion,” Lloyed said. “It’s matter of what’s logical – the logic here is this: you can’t make decisions on what doesn’t belong to you.

“It astounds me how some women are still letting the men in their lives make decisions about their bodies. It makes about as much sense as letting a stranger decide who you’re going to marry or what you’re going to name your kid.”

What concerns him even more, the long-time ally in the women’s rights movement said, is that there are men who, despite the study, still think it’s their rights to make decisions about women’s reproductive choices.

“That line of thinking is as silly as going into another country, taking down its government and telling its people what kind of government they really want,” he continued. “Perhaps we also need to do a study that will find that Americans aren’t Iraqis and don’t know what Iraqis think.”

The findings are expected to bring about months of fighting between the left and right, and although it probably won’t settle anything permanently, will restart the debate between America’s pro-choice and-life.

“We’re ready,” Robertson said. “The feminist movement is the lifeblood of the AntiChrist. We’ve always had God on our side, and this time it won’t be any different. Science may be to answer certain questions, but it’ll never be able to answer how God came about. For my money – and I have lots of it, I’ll always pick God over science.”