The passage of Amendment One in North Carolina has me feeling grumpy and deflated. So here are a few stories to remind myself that there are also reasons to be hopeful and encouraged.
The other day I linked to a post by Jessica at Love Is What You Do.
“Their landlords treat them in ways my landlords have never treated me,” Jessica wrote of the slumlords making life miserable for the refugees she works with in Austin.
I like that post for its empathy and its feisty indignation. I’ve often written critically of indignation, which can be both ridiculous and corrosive when its indulged by the powerful on their own behalf. But the powerless ought to be indignant, and those of us who aren’t powerless ought to be indignant on their behalf. Jessica is. She’s royally ticked off at the do-nothing property managers gouging her refugee friends while doing nothing to maintain their properties or to make the repairs needed to keep them habitable.
Her story has taken an interesting turn, and perhaps a hopeful one:
I went in Thursday ready for battle. Armed with information about what’s legal in the state of Texas, I went ready to nail this guy to the wall. Because they had turned the gas off and, ten days later, hadn’t turned it back on. That meant that the people in this one particular building had not had hot showers or cooked food in ten days–in Texas, you have to have the issue resolved in seven.
… I found a guy who I’ll call John. He and eight burly men were all over that building, tearing apart the ceiling and walls, looking for a gas leak. They stopped when I came in. I held up the letter and demanded to know what was going on.
Read the rest. It’s encouraging.
This is kind of awesome, from Christa Pongratz-Lippitt for National Catholic Reporter:
VIENNA, Austria — The parish church of Amras, Austria, near Innsbruck in Tyrol, was chock-a-block full for the first-Communion Mass on April 22. Shortly before Communion, the parish priest, Norbertine Fr. Patrick Busskamp, announced that only Catholics who were in a state of grace should come forward to Communion. Catholics who are divorced and remarried and Catholics who do not attend Mass every week were not worthy to receive the Eucharist, he said.
When Communion time came, not a single adult came forward. The entire congregation demonstratively remained seated. Only the children received Communion.
… Referring to the high numbers of Catholics who are leaving the church — more than 87,000 Austrian Catholics have formally left the church in the last two years — one of the mothers of a child receiving first Communion told the press it was incomprehensible that the few remaining Catholics were being antagonized like this. Another mother warned that the patience of faithful Catholics is nearing its end.
Only two weeks previously, a priest in Imsterberg in the Innsbruck diocese refused a woman Communion because she had only been married in a registry office.
John Whitley, a white Republican candidate for Congress from North Carolina’s 8th District, probably thought the conventions of he-said/she-said “balanced” journalism would provide him a platform to promote his birthed theories on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
But Cooper, instead, shows how it’s done. He doesn’t allow Whitley to make up his own facts, and he asks tough follow-up questions that force Whitley to embrace the full implications of his birtherism:
“You know that nonpartisan organizations have also looked at the certificate of live birth that President Obama’s campaign released in 2008. They … declared that a legitimate document,” Cooper pointed out. “You also know that … the former health director in the state of Hawaii has testified and given an affidavit that she examined President Obama’s birth certificate in the records and that it’s legitimate and that the Republican governor of Hawaii has verified that, as well.
“So it’s part of some conspiracy from the governor of Hawaii, the health director of Hawaii, FactCheck.org, and nonpartisan organizations that have examined that, as well as the state registrar, who has confirmed the 2011 document that was released is the actual birth certificate? They’re all in some grand conspiracy?” the CNN host pressed.