Birth Matters by Karen Leslie Hernandez

karen hernandezI don’t talk much about giving birth, but when I do talk about the birth of my daughter and I give details, I am met almost assuredly with looks of disbelief and outright contempt for my birthing experience. In that, I am reminded, as women talk of their beautiful birthing experiences, mine was anything but that.

I also feel that I don’t need to focus on those days that were filled with unorthodox delivery practices and harmful words, when I can just focus on what came after and what is now – I have an amazing, beautiful, grounded 25 year old daughter.

Yet, there is something to it. Something that should be said. Something to share. And, what I find quite often, is that as a former military wife delivering in a military hospital, many other military spouses have similar stories. Continue reading “Birth Matters by Karen Leslie Hernandez”

The David Syndrome? By Marcia Mount Shoop

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like we’re all in Junior High or High School again with the Petraeus scandal?  There is drama at every turn with boundaries crossed and accusations slung across every lunch table there is.

When I was a teenager we didn’t have emails, Facebook , and Twitter (thanks be to God).  We passed notes.  I remember getting a really mean one scrawled in deliberately messy handwriting to maintain anonymity about how annoying I was to the “populace” (yes I remember that word was in there) because I didn’t wear make up and I thought I was “so smart.”

Just like today’s cyber detectives who figured out Paula Broadwell’s identity from the fingerprints we all leave behind in the online lives we lead, I traced this note back to its source.  I did it the old fashioned way—I asked around.  Unfortunately I found out it was from a “friend” and teammate of mine.  When I went to her house and confronted her she admitted it.  Turns out she was envious about a boy.  Little did she know at the time that the boy she wished for was abusive and I was living in my own secret hell.  I remember thinking to myself “you can have him.”   The stakes seemed so high back then—friendships, acceptance, one’s whole sense of self were hopelessly tangled up in tenuous, even dangerous, relationships. Continue reading “The David Syndrome? By Marcia Mount Shoop”

Cry The Beloved Country by Carol P. Christ

With the final day of voting in the US election less than 24 hours away, I feel a deep sadness descending on my soul. 

This election will have far-reaching consequences in relation to a number of issues I care deeply about. Among them are health care, social services, a social safety net, a graduated tax structure that taxes the rich and to a lesser extent the middle classes in order to provide services for the poor, equal pay for equal work, a woman’s right to choose, and gay rights.  On these issues there is a clear choice between the two candidates for President and the two parties. 

Democrats believe that health care is a human right, that social services should be provided for those who need them, that taxes should be paid by those who can afford to do so, that women have a right to equal pay and control of our own bodies, and that gays and lesbians should have all the rights of other citizens. Republicans believe that government does not need to provide or control health care, that social services are largely unnecessary, that it is unfair to tax the rich, that equal pay is not important if women have husbands, that the church and state should be making decisions about women’s bodies, and that homosexuality is a unnatural.  There is a clear choice on these issues. 

For this reason, I urge all of you who have not voted yet—and those of you who are considering not voting–to vote, no matter how long the lines are, no matter what intimidation you may face, and no matter what discouragement and disappointment you may be feeling.*

Nevertheless I feel like crying.

I feel sad that just about half of all Americans who intend to vote will be voting for the rich, against the poor, and against women’s—my–independence.  Continue reading “Cry The Beloved Country by Carol P. Christ”

A Prayer From the Privileged by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

“As we approach Memorial Day Weekend (and the militaristic patriotism it promotes), as the 2012 election cycle heats up, and as I meditate more deeply upon my and my country’s many riches, one of [Walter] Brueggemann’s prayers in particular spoke to me.”

One of the three books I took with me on vacation is by the world’s leading interpreter of the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann. It’s not actually on the Bible, but something he published in 2008 called Prayers for a Privileged People.

Continue reading “A Prayer From the Privileged by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

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