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GA 06.24.07 - What Are You Doing Here?

Well, it's over... not with a bang, nor a whisper.  But pretty good. 

At noon there was the protest in front of the ICE offices.  (I was stuck at the booth but hear that it went well.)  Shortly before GA got to Portland there was a major ICE raid, parents were rounded up for deportation while their kids were at school.  Graduation parties were canceled, casting a pall on the entire community.  Some of the custodial staff at our hotels were affected.  In response, the UUA joined a coalition of groups to denounce the breakup of families.  Bill Sinkford spoke, and I hear he rocked.  As I've said before, this is one of those things that makes me so proud to be a UU.

GA 06.23.07 - So Much For PeaceMaking

Last year at GA, the delegates voted to adopt "Peacemaking" as our Study Action Issue for the next four years.  Given that it was the only option, it showed that the SAI process was in need of revision.  Given that the language of the original text of the SAI was imo reactionary to the current war and potentially greatly divisive ("Let's decide once and for all whether UUs support "just war" or pacifism."), I was worried.  But I have been pleasantly surprised that the Commission on Social Witness and a core group of expert advisors have reframed the discussion, broadening it to encompass all aspects of Peacemaking, from the personal to the interpersonal to the international.

GA 06.22.07 - Rethinking Affirmative Action

Attended the Interfaith Alliance Breakfast this morning. Interfaith Alliance was co-founded by Denny Davidoff, a UU powerhouse and former Madame Moderator of the UUA. Its purpose is to provide a counter-point to the Religious Right and to demonstrate a positive role for religion. In partnership with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, one of their main campaigns right now is First Freedom First, in defense of the beleaguered anti-establishment clause of the First Amendment.

GA 06.21.07 - Happy Summer Solstice

Day 2 of GA 2007 has come and gone.  The highlights and the lowlights include:

Highlight: UUA President Bill Sinkford naming the elephant that's in the room and calling for us to consider how some of our grand old New England churches got to be so grand.  ie - consider reparations for slavery and what that would look like.

Lowlight: Attending the diversity workshop put on by DRUUMM where we were asked to name when we've felt marginalized at GA and having more than one Euro-American say that President Sinkford made them feel "marginalized" by calling us to consider our racially tainted past.  (It's a dangerous thing when someone learns a new word but not quite what it means.)

GA 06.20.07 - Stand By This Faith

Well, the opening session of GA 2007 has come and gone. We observed three mile stones. Thirty years ago, we passed a resolution called "Women and Religion" calling us to examine and challenge sexist assumptions and attitudes, including sexist language. Ten years ago, we passed two business resolutions, one called "Toward an Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association" and the other called "Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities." In all three cases, we were called to move towards conscious, broader inclusivity, not just in theory but in practice, and called to start changing the world by examining our own house.

What Makes an Asian American?

Greetings from Portland OR, home of GA 2007 starting tomorrow.

Today I want to point out that twenty five years ago today a young man named Vincent Chin was murdered.  I remember Vincent's murder the way that others remember Kennedy being shot.  While I didn't know it immediately, it's the day I became Asian American.  

Murders are a common occurrence, unfortunately.  What made Vincent Chin's murder so remarkable was that he was killed for being "Asian" and his killers served no jail time.  None.

On the evening of his bachelor party, Vincent, a Chinese American, got into an argument with two auto-workers - Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz - who accused him of being the reason why Nitz had lost his job (due to strong Japanese car sales).  Both parties were thrown out of the club.  Ebens and Nitz drove around the neighborhood for 20-30 minutes, looking for Chin.  They found him in the parking lot of a McDonalds and then beat him to death with a baseball bat.

God Save US

I pray that the U.S. be saved from its so-called saviors. A group that calls itself "SANE" (Society of Americans for National Existence) claims that the U.S. is under attack - that our very existence is threatened - and that they are going to do something about it. Looking at their website, it seems the biggest threats are: 1. Muslims, 2. Immigrants, and 3. the "liberal ELITE." (I am intentionally not linking to their site. If you really want to view the horror, you can google it.) Recently, this inSANE group announced a project called "Mapping Shari'a in America: Knowing the Enemy!" by which they mean to visit the over 2,000 mosques in this country disguised (ie - as spies), in order to determine each congregation's threat to the U.S. This would in and of itself be alarming enough.

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