Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I write letters (you should too!)

In Maryland, we have one state Senator who has announced both that she plans to "pray" on how to vote on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Act, (yes, that makes my head spin, too!) and that she won't vote for a bill that looks like it will fail. (Because being on the winning side is always better than being on the right side, I guess.) I think she needs to hear from us.

Dear Sen. Conway,

I write to ask you to vote for the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Act. As a religious person myself, I know that you mean well when you state that you will pray for guidance on how to vote on this issue. However, I also know that some people use interpretations from the Bible as an excuse to discriminate against gays, despite the fact that other faiths interpret those same passages quite differently. I feel compelled to remind you that we do have a First Amendment guarantee of separation of church and state, and while I respect your right to hold your own personal religious views, you were elected to represent ALL your constituents. There are faith traditions that currently perform same sex marriage ceremonies, and they want those marriages to have the same legal recognition as marriages performed for heterosexual couples.

Marriage equality is a church-state separation issue and we must not allow our laws to be based on one belief. I would respectfully ask that you put aside your own personal religious positions and vote for this Act. I would be happy to speak with you in person about this very important matter. There are thousands of lesbians and gays who reside in Maryland, and we deserve full and equal representation by our elected officials.

Written with some previous text I got from my friends at the wonderful Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Music Video: Make that joyful noise!

We made it through another week, my friends -- let's get joyful with the Derek Trucks Band!

It's a little messy right now ....

Please be patient. We're doing some redesign at the House of Jello, and it may get a little ugly around here for a bit.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday Poetry Break: "God made me a businesswoman and I made myself a poet"

Actually, in my case I think God made me a poet and I made myself a businesswoman, but that's the familiar quote from Amy Lowell, who was born on this day in 1874. Here's one of her poems that evokes the warmer weather.

The Garden by Moonlight

A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.
Firefly lights open and vanish
High as the tip buds of the golden glow
Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.
Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,
Moon-spikes shafting through the snow ball bush.
Only the little faces of the ladies’ delight are alert and staring,
Only the cat, padding between the roses,
Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern
As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.
Then you come,
And you are quiet like the garden,
And white like the alyssum flowers,
And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.
Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?
They knew my mother,
But who belonging to me will they know
When I am gone.

-- Amy Lowell