And This Will Be Our Penance

Just to recap... Conservative leaders are running on platforms of "zero tolerance" for terrorism--and  Muslims in general, as though that is all the same thing. And yet, those same leaders voted today that it's A-OK for people on the FBI no-fly list to buy weapons of mass destruction. Because perhaps the FBI is just being twitchy when they say these folks are a threat to society. Because rights. And freedom. You know the drill.Here is what I now know: when this country's sick romance with gu … [Read more...]

They Want Us Dead: Hate and Marginalized Communities

A powerful guest post from my college friend, Shawn McGuffey. An important read that needs to be shared far and wide--and I'm proud to share it here. “They want us dead. I’m gay. They want us dead.”This morning I woke up smiling. Laughing. And making jokes with my partner. While morning laughter is usually as routine for us as eating and brushing teeth, it was notable today because we have not done so since the tragic massacre in Orlando this past weekend where 49 people – primarily Latin … [Read more...]

Grief for the Villians

A guest post: by Rev. Elizabeth GrashamMy ex-husband calls my cellphone once a week to talk to our son.  In and of itself, that would probably sound normal to any person who lives with a custody agreement, post-divorce.  Except the first person my son hears when he answers the phone is not his dad; it’s a voice recording.“You are about to receive a prepaid phone call from [XXXX], an inmate housed at the [XXXX] Unit. If you still want to accept this prepaid phone call, please touch ‘1’.” … [Read more...]

Disarming Hate: After Orlando

Another day, another mass shooting. Another opportunity for political propaganda-ing and moral posturing and "we'll keep them in our prayers-ing" that amounts to exactly nothing, as long as they are all too cowardly to stand up to the gun lobby that is the boss of everything.This cowardice, for the record, is a bipartisan sin.Yesterday's shooting in Orlando is the biggest in U.S. history, which is not the kind of superlative you want to be winning, not by a long shot, but it is truly … [Read more...]

Running While Female: A Survivor’s Story

The story of Brock Turner has rape culture on everyone's minds this week--but that story is just one of many, reminding us that sexual assault is a chronic, destructive reality for women in this country. We can't stop talking about it once this latest instance cycles out of the trending newsfeed. I'm so grateful to my friend and colleague Robyn Bles for bravely sharing her story. “What were you thinking running in that bad neighborhood?”  The police officer asked me.I blinked.  What was I … [Read more...]

Criminal Journalism: Brock Turner and the Sanitation of Rape Culture

Such a heartbreaking story. Such a gifted young man, with a promising future. Sadly, he was brought down by a loose woman who drank too much and didn't know how to keep herself from getting raped while she was unconscious. It's a shame. Such a shame.You could read the article in the Washington Post that everyone's talking about this morning, but I'll save you the trouble. That's pretty much the gist of it right there. As if you couldn't tell from the headline itself that this was going to be … [Read more...]

The Late and The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, and What Gets Remembered

I know nothing about boxing.  Except that it's a dang sight more artful and athletic than that UFC business that is all the rage these days.Still, I feel a certain kinship with Muhammad Ali. He was a Kentuckian. Furthermore, he was a Kentuckian who wound up living in Phoenix. Not for nothing, but Kentuckians living in Arizona is a pretty small club. And since I feel profoundly connected to both of those little points on the map, I kind of feel like I can claim his story-- at least in some sm … [Read more...]

The Small World of a #TrendingTopic: Gorillas and Other Big Things

I thought we'd be done talking about the gorilla by now.Clearly, we are still talking about the gorilla.Last weekend, a young child got into a wild animal enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo. The gorilla picked the child up and began carrying him around like a Cabbage Patch doll, much to the horror of his parents and other onlookers. While he was not seriously injured, zoo officials decided that the only way to ensure the child's safety was to kill the gorilla.And suddenly the internet … [Read more...]

Ticking Clock and Turning Tide

We are not theme park people. We are National Park people.We are beach people. We are long-roadtrip-to-visit-friends people. We are mountain people. But we are not Mouse people, Princess people, or long line people.So it's a mystery to me, why I was recently overcome with the overwhelming urge to take my kids to Disneyland. I think I felt some magic window closing... I know that older kids can still get excited, and still have a great time. But there is an age at which they move past the … [Read more...]