Hunting and Writing: Not That Far Apart

Hunting, I predict, will be the next hipster activity. Having taken to carving their own meat, mixing handcrafted cocktails, and growing mustaches, I expect that a bunch of skinny-jeaners are going to join me afield in the coming years.

Yesterday, hunter and writer Steven Rinella wrote about how he is both a serious writer and a big game hunter, a combo to which I also aspire:

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It’s a Court System, Not a Justice System

Years ago, in the midst of my divorce, I was sitting in therapy, again bemoaning the injustices of divorce in Minnesota. I was beyond frustrated at the lack of enforcement of court orders, at the assumption that moms are better parents than dads, and that no one seemed to think that my case was as urgent as I thought it was.

“Stop calling it the ‘Family Justice System,’” my therapist said.

“What?” I asked. “That’s what it’s called.”

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The Day that Minnesota Saved America

Attack of the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg. Painting by Don Troiani. Courtesy of The National Guard.

 One hundred and fifty years ago today, the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment performed a military action about which President Calvin Coolidge would later say, “In all the history of warfare this charge has few if any equals and no superiors. It was an exhibition of the most exalted heroism against an apparently insuperable antagonist.”

When they formed in 1861, the First Minnesota boasted 1,000 men — indeed, Minnesota had the highest percentage of volunteers of any state in the Union, with over half of the state’s eligible men enlisting. After six weeks of training, they loaded onto a barge, and then trains, to take them to war. They changed trains in Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune wrote,

There are few regiments we have ever seen that can compare to the brawn and muscle with these Minnesotians, used to the axe, the rifle, the oar and the setting pole. They are unquestionably the finest body of troops that has yet to appear in our streets.”

But by 1863, their number had dwindled to 262.

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On the Right Side of History on Gay Marriage

John Stumme, left, kisses his husband Kyle Hanson in the state capitol’s rotunda immediately after the Minnesota Senate passed a bill making Minnesota the 12th state in the country to legalize gay marriage May 13, 2013. (Courtney Perry)

I realize that it is a grandiose claim to say that, regarding marriage equality, I stand on the right side of history. But that’s exactly what I felt as I stood in the rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol and held vigil with thousands of others as the State Senate debated HF 1054, extending the right to marry to same sex couples. At 4:19pm, it passed 37-30, and today at 5pm, Governor Mark Dayton will sign it into law.

I stood alongside Doug Pagitt, Jay Bakker, and Russell Rathbun, fellow (straight, white, male) Minnesota clergymen who also support marriage equality. Dozens of clergy were in the crowd, based on the number of clerical shirts I saw. Many of them stood in the middle, leading songs — we were along the edge of the crowd, greeting people we know. Also there were Courtney with her camera (see above), Wendy Johnson and her daughter, our friends Bryan and Scott, and other friends and acquaintances. We were receiving news about the speeches inside the Senate chambers via text message and Twitter.

Marriage equality is a civil rights issue.

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