Archive for May, 2008

New York: Gay marriages recognized here too

May 30, 2008

Law.com reports:

Fairness and fear of legal liability convinced New York Gov. David A. Paterson to direct all state agencies to immediately recognize as valid same-sex marriages solemnized outside of New York, the governor said Thursday.

Massachusetts requires you to be a legal resident in MA to get married.

As far as I know, California does not.

You can’t stop the steady march of civil rights.

The first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in Massachusetts was a UU couple and it was issued by the UU city clerk.

Click for more UU BGLT facts:

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People are trying to kill me- the dangers of cycling in Los Angeles

May 30, 2008

For real.

I was riding my Dahon Speed Folding Bicycle to work like I do every day. I don’t take the sidewalks, which are actually much more dangerous for the cyclist, pedestrians, and motorists who watch the road. Plus, the law dictates that I ride on the street. As gas prices rise, American motorists need to become familiar with dealing with cyclists. They also need to lean to love public transportation.

Today, riding to work, was uneventful. I’d passed through the most dangerous part of my journey, where I merge across three lanes and sit in a left turn lane until the light changes. I passed through the light, and this time no cars were behind me. I continued down the road as semi trucks and other large trucks file down the oncoming lane. It’s quite a rush to ride next to the loud, low, tremble of their giant engines and enormous girth. I am well aware that any collision with them (or any other car) would likely end in serious to fatal injury.

HALF A BLOCK before I turn into my place of work, I was frightened by a loud and constant HORN blaring from a car tailgating TEN FEET behind me. This is a terrifying experience for a cyclist. It would be very easy for me to panic and fall in front of her tires. I wave a ‘hold on’ signal to the irate motorist, continue until the parked cars give way, and merge into the should per the norm.

A young platinum blonde in a white BMW shoots me a dirty look, swerves slightly toward me, and guns it, speeding away… and then immediately turning into a parking lot.

I decided to follow her in.

I stayed 20 feet away from her car, on my bicycle, and consciously made an effort not to yell or appear threatening. She saw me and decided to take FOREVER fiddling with her purse, hoping I’d go away. My adrenaline is pumping.

She gathered her strength and got out of her car.

Click below to read the exchange:

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Exclusive Video: How I felt when I first experienced UU

May 29, 2008

UU: It’s an outside of the box religion.

UU’s sometimes forget that those outside of our bubble have trouble wrapping their minds around what we’re all about.

Experiencing UUism can be a bit of a shock, a bit of a thrill, a bit of a kick in the pants. It’s liberating and challenging. It’s mysterious and yet very plain.

We’re outside the box!

So just what’s inside the box?

Big thank you to the talented Gregg Brown for the below video. Now, if only he were a UU…

(no pressure Gregg)

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my duty to find the sacred, to chose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the burden of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best Minister Blogs, UU Posts, and Sermon Podcasts.

The Gay Marriage trend in California…goes both ways?

May 28, 2008

A Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll released last weekfound that 54% of the 705 registered voters surveyed supported the proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and 35% opposed it. Overall, Californians opposed the court’s view by a 52%-41% gap.

The Field Poll result, released today, shows the highest level of support in more than three decades of polling Californians on the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage laws. The poll found 51 percent of registered voters favor the idea of allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed, while 42 percent disapprove.

Buddha Jokes

May 28, 2008

Hat tip: Daily Buddhism.com

Buddha Jokes, Round One

As I said, just some fun for the rest of the week. Next week, we’ll
get into some more of the serious stuff. Buddhists know not to take
life too seriously, and to realize the importance of a good laugh.

I don’t know if these are going to give you a good laugh, but they’re
guaranteed for a groan.

Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
A. Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.

Q. What does Buddha say when he orders a hot dog?
A. “One with everything.”

Q. What did the Buddha say when the hot dog vendor asked him if he had
change?
A. “Change must come from within.”

Q. Why can’t the Buddha vacuum under the sofa?
A. Because he has no attachments.

A monk was driving in India when suddenly a dog crosses the road. The
car hit and killed the dog. The monk looked around and seeing a
temple, went to knock on the door. A monk opened the door. The first
monk said: “I’m terribly sorry, but my karma ran over your dogma.”

OK, I hope those weren’t too painful.

I just heard about Qigong for the first time

May 26, 2008

Anybody have any thoughts on this stuff? Anybody have any experiences? It seems sort of like the Force in Star Wars. Rock!

View the video.  I’m normally a skeptic. I’m starting to believe.

Blog post every UU Humanist should read

May 19, 2008

Per his usual, I found CAUTE’s latest blog post to be very well-written, informative, and challenging: What can be shown cannot be said.

or click here

The argument is not new to me… but the whole point of CAUTE’s post is that it’s not an argument.

If it’s not something that is seen, it’s not something that can be made clearer by talking about it.

An exerpt:

Towards the end of the Tractatus Wittgenstein says “There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical” (6.522). Those things which cannot be said are ethics, aesthetics, religion, the meaning of life, logic and philosophy. Ray Monk observes that “Wittgenstein appears to believe, there are indeed truths, but none of these truths can be expressed in language; they all have to be shown, not said” (p.21).

I liked CAUTE’s list of things which cannot be said. Humanists might find themselves less put off by religious texts if they allow themselves to place their words in the same de facto realm as art. To view the works as art might allow the reader to open up to its beauty and meaning in a way previously withheld.

This framing takes some of the magic out of religious texts, but adds more in its place.

UULM: Big win! CA Supreme Court rules for same sex marriage

May 15, 2008

Email from UU Legislative Ministry:

Dear Aaron,

Alleluia! We won in the CA State Supreme Court! Loving same sex couples can now be treated with equal dignity and respect when we marry them in our congregations. Those same-sex couples who have been married religiously, but undocumented legally, will now be able to get legally married.

In the decision of the court, it is clear that the work of the religious community made a BIG difference. Thanks to all of you who have helped so many faith communities to stand on the side of love.

Here is a link to the court’s decision -the long list of names of clergy and congregations in support at the end is a wonderful witness of support for the freedom to marry.

Do join us at one of the wonderful celebrations tonight being held around the state this evening – you can find the locations of celebrations on our website, along with a link to the wonderful Interfaith Amicus Brief.

Blessings,

Rev. Lindi Ramsden
UU Legislative Ministry, CA

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How I caught a mouse without a live mousetrap

May 14, 2008

My wife and I have had a mouse sharing our living space with ever increasing boldness.

At first we noticed mouse droppings in a cupboard. Then they were gone. Then we heard rustling at night. Then it went away.

Lately, our furry friend has been seen sneaking around the outer walls, ducking behind furniture, and zipping out of site far too often. The final straw was when I saw him exploring my shoes- the thought that a mouse might be in my shoe as I slipped in my foot…

Now I dislike killing mice. They’re pretty cute, for vermin. I also am on a spending freeze with my spouse, so the $15 for a live trap didn’t sound appealing either. So I did some searching on the internet.  The result?

Here’s how I caught the critter:

  1. Get a toilet paper tube and crease two lines to form a flat sided tunnel.
  2. Put a treat on one end of the tube: A cracker and dab of peanut butter works great.
  3. Get a tall (at least 20 inches) bucket. A trash can works well.
  4. Balance the tube precariously on the edge of a table or counter with the treat hanging directly over the tall sided receptacle.
  5. The mouse will scurry to the treat (they like tunnels) and fall into the trap.

Set the fella loose at least a mile away from your abode.

Postnote: It worked two hours later while we were asleep in bed.

This morning, my wife and I walked quite a ways away and let him loose in a large tuft of grass.

Evangelicals finding their way from war

May 11, 2008

The Seattle Times is reporting the young evangelicals are leaving the GOP ranks over the Iraq issue.

Judy Naegeli, 25, who works at a Christian philanthropy, says easy access to information about the world via social-networking sites, YouTube and blogs is the reason her generation is more concerned with social justice.

“It’s changed our perspective. … Each generation chooses their cause, and ours is AIDs in Africa, or poverty or social justice,” she said.

Tyler Braun, 23, a Portland seminary student who opposes abortion and gay rights, said he’ll probably vote for Obama because, since he’d would like to see U.S. troops leave Iraq.

I’d like to highlight the impact of the internet on moving these young evangelicals away from their parent’s war and toward social justice issues. When I was growing up, my sheltered classmates took eye-opening evangelistic trips to New Orleans. Now, teens see slices of life in all corners of the world. They’re seeking and learning online.

UU’s need to put themselves in the path of those driving the information superhighway. Right now I feel like we’re wearing out the soles of our shoes marching along a cow path when everyone else has asphalt and a Hummer.

Please keep in mind, it’s not that the young evangelicals are voting Democratic. It’s that they’re in a political limbo… up for grabs. Waiting for someone to speak to the things they care about. And whatdoyaknow? They care about our issues!

Let’s grab ’em!

Or we could just keep walking along with these cows… see where they’ll end up.