My Hopeful Prayer for 2018 by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

When the dust settled after November 9, 2016, many were looking for a better 2017. Alas, 2017 was one of the roughest, heaviest, and revelatory years in the last twenty years. 2017 shook many to their cores. Every morning seemed to bring new horrors, new mountains to climb, and more piles of ridiculousness to shift through. And it didn’t seem to relent. Every moment, every hour was met with baited breath. Is this the moment that our world falls apart? Is this the moment we wake up from this nightmare?

Continue reading “My Hopeful Prayer for 2018 by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

An Open Letter to President Obama about the Dakota Access Pipeline by Elizabeth Cunningham

Elizabeth_Author Photo 2I wrote this letter to President Obama on November 18, the morning after I returned from a few days at Standing Rock. I am not an activist by temperament. I went to Standing Rock to support a friend who felt strongly called to go, as well as, to support the cause. I did not participate in direct action, because I did not fully grasp till I was there the preparations I would need to make in terms of clearing my calendar for jail time and a return to North Dakota for a trial. Gratitude and respect for those who are taking this risk and dedicating their lives to this cause.

One thing this letter below does not address is how to donate to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Given the overwhelming donations of food and clothing that are still pouring in, financial donation is more practical now. Here’s a link to the donation page:  You can also donate to the legal fund: People are being arrested on a daily basis.  

I am still sorting through the experience of this journey and its connection to what lies ahead for this country. Unlike many people who have suffered privation and injustice for years and centuries, I have lived in a relatively comfortable, privileged bubble in the Northeast, surrounded by natural beauty and by friends, family, and community of like mind. After this presidential election, I don’t think it is possible or conscionable to live such an insular life, though I do intend to savor and celebrate all moments of joy. The President Elect is clearly bent on environmental depredation. We all have a great deal to learn from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Continue reading “An Open Letter to President Obama about the Dakota Access Pipeline by Elizabeth Cunningham”

The End is Nigh by John Erickson

How will the world end? No, it isn’t Lucifer himself coming from hell to bring in the end times, it is someone far worse, and his name is Donald Trump.

John Erickson, sports, coming out.When I was a little boy I was terrified that I would live to experience the end of the world.  Whether it was by an asteroid, Y2K, or a zombie plague, I would make myself sick by picturing these horrible things that could befall me and my family.  Although I was a precocious child, the crippling fear that would lurch its way up my stomach and into my head would sometimes make it impossible to sleep at night.  While I like to think I grew out of that phase, I now sit here feeling that way again.  I’m crippled with fear that the end of the world is at hand and there may be nothing we can do to stop it.   How will the world end? No, it isn’t Lucifer himself coming from hell to bring in the end times, it is someone far worse, and his name is Donald Trump.

By the time you’re reading this post, the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will have occurred and, no matter where you look, the aftermath will haunt us for weeks to come.  We will either be sitting here, coaxing in the sunlight that Clinton has, in proper fashion, just goaded Trump into revealing to the 100 or so million viewers that will have chimed in to viewing how completely dangerous he truly is, or will we be scurrying to uncover decade old bunkers that were used during the 1950s and the Cold War to take shelter from the fallout to come should, Donald Trump become the next President of the United States. Continue reading “The End is Nigh by John Erickson”

A Dream Too Far . . .? by Kelly Brown Douglas

Not too long ago I heard an interview with Eugene Allen’s son.  The recently released movie, The Butler is inspired by Eugene Allen’s life in the White House. Mr. Allen served in the White House through the terms of 8 presidents. His story first came to light after President Obama’s first election when a feature article appeared about him in the Washington Post. This feature told of how he never missed a day of work during his 36 years of service at the White House and it recalled what he witnessed from his position as butler when some of the most momentous decisions were being made, especially for black folks between1952-1988, his tenure of service. There are clearly many compelling things about his story, but there is one thing that stood out for me that actually did not come from him or the movie, but from an interview with his son. During this interview his son recalled the January morning in 2009 that he and his father, as invited guests, witnessed Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.  He said that he leaned over to his father and asked him if he ever dreamed that he would live to see a black man become President. He said his father responded, “I didn’t dream that I could have that dream.”  To dream such a thing was a dream too far for Eugene Allen. He could not dream the dream.

Continue reading “A Dream Too Far . . .? by Kelly Brown Douglas”

The Morning After Pill and Obama’s Daughters by Carol P. Christ

carol p. christ 2002 colorBy now it should be clear to feminists that when Barack Obama thinks about women, he does not view us as independent individuals, but rather as he said in his 2nd term inauguration address–to my consternation—as “our” mothers, wives, and daughters.  Obama does not address us–he addresses the men he expects to make decisions for us.  I almost wrote a blog on this egregious error in perception and judgment on the part of the President in January, but in order not to be seen as nit-picking, I held my tongue.  The recent decision of the White House to continue to restrict the availability of the Plan B , brings this question to the fore again.

Plan B is a brand name for the “morning after pill.”  If taken within 3 days of unprotected intercourse, it will prevent conception.  There is now a much cheaper generic version as well.

After reviewing the effects and side effects of Plan B, the Federal Drug Administration found it safe and reliable and advised the US Department of Health and Human Services that it should be made available without prescription or age restrictions.  In late 2011, the Obama administration and Kathleen Sibelius made the unprecedented decision to overturn the recommendations of the FDA and to allow Plan B to be purchased without prescription only by women age 17 or older.  Just over a month ago, US District Court Justice Edward Korman of New York ruled that the Plan B and the generic alternatives should be made available without restriction.  Before the ruling could take effect, the Obama administration lowered the age restriction to 15, while announcing that it would appeal Justice Korman’s decision to make the morning after pill as available as aspirin.

“Current and former White House aides said Obama’s approach to the issue has been heavily influenced by his experience as the father of two school-age daughters.”   Continue reading “The Morning After Pill and Obama’s Daughters by Carol P. Christ”

Out of the Bars and Into the Streets and ….by Marie Cartier

I remember the election season of 1984. At the 1984 Democratic National Convention on July 18 in San Francisco, California, Jesse Jackson delivered the Keynote address, entitled “The Rainbow Coalition.” The speech called for Arab Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, youth, disabled veterans, small farmers, lesbians and gays to join with African Americans and Jewish Americans for a political purpose. My lover at the time woke me up very early in the morning to tell me that Jesse Jackson had said the words “lesbians and gays” as part of his speech at the Democratic Convention. I started to cry and called my mother and she cried, too. We both cried. It was a moment I will never forget…because in that moment I as a lesbian existed on national television and in the imagination and spoken word of the country’s political system where I live and pay taxes—in a way I never had before—I was spoken out loud. Continue reading “Out of the Bars and Into the Streets and ….by Marie Cartier”

Building a Bridge toward the Future: Will You Meet Me in the Middle? By Ivy Helman

On Tuesday, President Obama’s acceptance speech included the following statement about coming together as a country across differences of opinion.  He said, “We will disagree, sometimes fiercely about how to get [toward the future we hope for]…by itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward…”

How do we really do this work?  How do we come together across difference to make change?  How do we foster productive dialogue that produces genuine and real results?  In this dialogue, what principles do we use?  What values do we honor?  What criteria do we use to judge opinions of others?  When is an opinion wrong or when is an opinion just different from our own? Continue reading “Building a Bridge toward the Future: Will You Meet Me in the Middle? By Ivy Helman”

Catholicism, Contraception, and Conscience: Church Imposed Teaching, God’s Gift of Free Will, and Political Rhetoric by Michele Stopera Freyhauf

Certainly one cannot turn on the news without seeing a story about the feud over the Catholic Church’s stance on forbidding the use of contraception and Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that mandates free contraception to women.  In preparing this article, I took the time to review many articles from liberal and conservative news outlets, law professors who are experts on constitutional law, and statements from the USCCB and Bishops.  Before asking questions, I want to outline the following points:

  1. In the literature reviewed, only two women, Sr. Carol Keehan and Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, made a statement against this policy stating that the government is interfering with the working of the Church.  Most voices heard and shouting the loudest are members of the clergy.
  2. Hospitals considered “Catholic” hire people of all faiths and various beliefs.  They also treat patients of all faiths.  They are not exclusively “Catholic.”
  3. Catholic identified Colleges hire professors and staff that are not Catholic.  Moreover, their student body is not totally Catholic.
  4. Catholic Charities, once again, hire non-Catholics.
  5. Insurance plans currently in place often offer contraception prescriptions at a zero to low co-pay price.  These plans are in-force at many Catholic Institutions.
  6. Under HIPAA, healthcare of employees are protected and the Employer, even the Catholic Church cannot violate the privacy of the patient, even if it is an employee.
  7. Birth Control Pills are often prescribed for women with endometriosis or other “female” reproductive disorders and not birth control.
  8. Women pregnant, carrying a dead baby, cannot have surgery due to risks are given medication to induce abortion are given. Continue reading “Catholicism, Contraception, and Conscience: Church Imposed Teaching, God’s Gift of Free Will, and Political Rhetoric by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”
%d bloggers like this: