What Does “Mean” Mean?

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance (to me) of activists cultivating good character traits: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. I truly think these are important virtues for everyone, and especially important when we activists work with each other to improve the world. But I also said, pretty strongly, that I don’t like working with [Read More…]

Good Politics, Bad Character

In my years as an activist many of my core values have stayed the same. I am still committed to maximal liberty of the individual, compatible with others’ rights. I am still for government intervention to help people get more free. I am still enraged by injustice and willing to fight against it. One area [Read More…]

What Words Should Activists Use?

Write or say anything about a currently-controversial political topic, and you are likely to swiftly be drawn into a discussion about words: “I don’t think you/we should use word x. We should use word y instead! It’s more understandable / welcoming / less threatening / more common.” These discussions can be frustrating: often I want to discuss the [Read More…]

Five Things I Learned from Cleve Jones

This Pride Cleve Jones came to St. Louis. The Cleve Jones. Cleve Jones of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and When We Rise, legendary LGBTQIA+ activist and total badass. He was in town to be Grand Marshal of our Pride Parade and to speak about his new book (also called When We Rise), and it was at his book [Read More…]

PFLAGGED

I experience a lot of emotional situations in my work. I’m a clergy person, and I sit with people as they wrestle with questions of life and death. I’m an activist, and I have had more than my share of tense and scary moments on the streets. But tonight’s panel on religion and LGBTQIA+ issues, [Read More…]

“Best Choice” Not the Best Choice for St. Louis-Area Public Schools

A Double Shot of Paranoia I’m at Starbucks to meet Joy Maxwell. Maxwell is Curriculum Coordinator for the increasingly controversial “Best Choice” sex education program, a project operated by ThriVe St. Louis and taught in public schools in and around the Midwestern city. In recent weeks, Best Choice has been the subject of numerous articles – and [Read More…]

Justice Without God

“Tzedek, tzedek tirdof” – “Justice, justice you will pursue.” This phrase, which I learnt from my Jewish clergy colleagues while protesting together in Ferguson, lies at the heart of faith for many. Almost all religious traditions, somewhere in their scriptures or practices, make a call to justice. From the Muslim call from god “O you [Read More…]