These days, I spend most of my time in Roanoke, Virginia. I moved here—a three-hour drive west—from Richmond, Virginia. One of the ways I’m settling into my new community is by volunteering as an escort at Planned Parenthood.
The job is straight-forward: Greet people as they exit their vehicle when they arrive at the medical facility’s parking lot. Usually, there are several protestors in front of the building, and clients must drive past them before turning right into the driveway. Protestors wave pink, plastic bags filled with anti-abortion literature as well as pamphlets that outline a specific, Christian view of “salvation.” Not many drivers stop. If they do, I walk over to the line that divides Planned Parenthood property from public space and wave the cars forward. The drivers are grateful. So many clients are nervous, upset, and unsure of protocol. One woman asked me if I was associated with “those people out there,” pointing to the protestors. “Not at all,” I assured her. She smiled with relief.
photos from bans off our bodies rally, long beach ca may 14, 2022
all photos by: marie cartier
BIO: Marie Cartieris a teacher, poet, writer, healer, artist, and scholar. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University; and a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.
Moderator’s note: This is the 2nd of the two part series. Part 1 was posted yesterday.
Well, here’s a hero now. And I bet he’s a hero to Buddhist monks, too. Wynn Alan Bruce? He was a climate activist, not just a hippie. I mean, I’ll give you that he may never be well-known. But he’s known. Just not well- known.
Well over 100,000 people and counting have read a blog post called “Nothing But the Truth: A Word to White America After the Recent Unpleasantness in Washington DC” that I wrote. Going on 400 commenters have weighed in on my website. I have not been able to keep up with replying to all the comments, but I have read them all. And a few cluster around the topic of childhood innocence and the role of adults in nurturing/protecting/informing children around the realities of things like racism, sexism, and the ugly layers of American history.
This exploration of the nature of childhood and our culture’s role in nurturing what we value about childhood calls out for feminist reflection. So, I put this out to the FAR community of conversation for discussion.
Some of the comments that interest me the most are those who gave the young men from Covington Catholic a pass because they are “just kids.” And they felt media and others were being too hard on them to expect them to understand what was going on in front of the Lincoln Memorial when competing narratives about our country converged.
In a previous FAR post, I talked about the newest trend in sports of including women in marketing strategies for American football. Today I have decided to throw my hat into the ring regarding the recent polarizing “Kneeling” protest taking place at NFL games. I started writing this on the morning that the current Vice President walked out of a NFL game due to players ‘taking the knee’ during the National Anthem; a protest which has been reported to cost TAXPAYERS $200,000. Weeks have gone by with the issue getting bigger and bigger. I can no longer stay silent.
This protest started when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem in August of 2016. He stated he was taking a knee to stand for people that were being oppressed. It has since exploded as a social movement/protest.
It has become a highly sensitive and polemic topic. And it is polarizing bcause the two groups which are opposing each other are actually, talking about two different things. The group that supports the kneeling protests understand that this ‘peaceful, and respectful’ act during the National Anthem is an important way they can voice their solidarity, take a stance, and bring awareness to the violence and injustices that minority groups face, especially African Americans. The group that radically opposes this protest only see it as a disrespecting act of our country, our flag, our troops, and their faith. Thus, the arguments and pseudo-discussions are not getting anywhere. Continue reading “Kneeling as Protest by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
I use words like “mutuality,” “listening,” and “love,” here as I discuss my understanding of feminist justice-making and eschew debate…I want to make it abundantly clear: I see these as powerful, often forceful and even angry tools. We listen to what oppressors say so that they cannot deceive with their “alternative facts.” We love forcefully…We counter violence—we do not debate it—with anger, humor, creativity and power, in order to redirect its energies into more mutual possibilities.
For those of you who have read my blogs before, you may have gathered that my approach to justice-making is not entirely non-violent. Researching and writing about the movement away from abusive community paradigms in my dissertation, I argue that we need to care for the kind of refractory violence or counter-violence that arises in our movements away from abuse.
The idea here is not that violence should be a goal, or even that violence is “good”—but rather, that we are in (close) relationship to violenceof all kinds. All violence, as I define the term, is destructive in some way; but as many religions of the world remind us, destruction, like creation, is an important part of life. Not all violence is “bad.”
In a country that was willing to [sic] its secular court on a “religious” cause, Pussy Riot are true revolutionaries. Nonetheless, it was not until they delivered these closing statements that their supporters—and opponents—heard what these three brave women stand for. Although they are being crushed in the jaws of the system—and know it!—their courage and steadfast sincerity are sufficient cause for (impossible) hope. If not for the Russian state, then at least for the Russian people. —Bela Shayevich
“When religion puts people in jail it’s unjust” – David Gross
The intermix of religion and politics are familiar, especially after this year’s presidential election. Many supported Mitt Romney out of concern for religious freedom; a stance that had the potential to marry religion and politics in a dysfunctional union. We also witnessed a veiled attempt by the Catholic Church to emphasize and sway the faithful to vote for the one true moral candidate; a stance contradicted by Obama’s ability to carry the Catholic vote. I believe what we see in Russia is a shining example that shows what happens when regulations and laws do not segregate between secular law and church law. Freedoms do not exist, rather, rules and restrictions are imposed creating an institutional prison.
The prosecution of an all girl punk band named Pussy Riot [i] demonstrates a “complete fusion of the institutions of the state and church,” which devalues “women’s rights and freedom of speech.”Members of Pussy Riot are serving a two year sentence of hard labor for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” What was their crime? They went into a Cathedral in Moscow and started singing a punk prayer – “Mother of God, Chase Putin Out!”
They danced, kneeled, and crossed themselves in front of the Church’s high altar. This occurred the day before the re-election of Vladimir Putin. While I do not support going into a sacred space with relics to make a protest, what I find problematic is their harsh sentence. However, it should be noted that with the coverage of the trial and the outpouring of support received from many organizations, and musicians, they did manage to bring to the forefront issues surrounding the government and the Church.