Wednesday Musings

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Whats in my teapot: Mint Magic by Celestial Seasons. Its one of the few commercial blends I like (I also like Moroccoan Mint Green Tea by Stash, Zen by Tzao, and Constant Comment by Bigelow).

Quote of the Day:

…It’s true.
Each prayer is caught by seaweed on the floor
and anchors itself deep beneath the sand.
The mermaids dig them up to use as bricks
and laugh at humans’ meaningless demands.

From the poem Taking a Mermaid to Church by Sarah Fletcher

A time to pull up what is planted…

“If you plant green beans in the spring, you won’t be pullin’ up turnips come tomorrow,” she said.  “Sometimes you gotta shout at them clouds til they tremble at yer voice and rain just to shut you up.  Sometimes you cry because the sky stays blue after blue with not a cloud in sight.  That’s when you know you got a bad harvest coming in the fall.  Or maybe buggies are gnawing your field.  Seems something always happens to crops when you need ‘em to grow.  But when you just want to give it all up, the rain falls and those little shoots pop up like you’ve never seen before.”  She stopped and considered her garden, “Sometimes they don’t though.  You always reap what you sow, you just never know how much your crop might be worth at the end.”

All I know about a backyard garden I learned from a neighbor.  To my nine-year-old self, she was pretty old.  Ancient.  She’d been born during WWI and the first third of her life on a farm before moving “into town” in the WWII era neighborhood where I would later arrive.  Wrinkly like creased paper and brown from the sun like old leather. Hunched over and wrapped in worn wool sweaters over vintage style dresses, her tiny feet encased in giant rubber boots.   But she never let that stop her.  Her kitchen smelled like cookies and violets, and she always had a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea ready.  In the spring time, her widow sills and counters and shelves were covered in egg cartons of dirt with little seedlings popping up.  Too many to plant in her postage stamp yard.  The best looking seedlings would find a new home from her stack of pots that she stored on her porch though the winter.  Some were carefully selected for the neighbors, based on what went with their yard.  The rest were destined for her yard after the last frost.  And the seedlings that didn’t make the cut got relegated to the “kitchen scrap pile” (compost pile) out back.

Mrs. Bloom (her real name) mourned the loss of “the little sprouts”, but she also understood that some of those plants just weren’t going to make it.  Not every sprout can find a home in the garden.  Sometimes “you just gotta pluck out the unlucky ones little girl, and hope you made the right choice.” Its not quite time yet, but soon before the growing season is truly upon us, we’ll have to pull up some of what has been planted so the rest can grow.

Things to do with herbs this growing season:
DIY Smudge Sticks
Simmer pots
Infused Water 
Infusing alcohols

 Moment of Zen: Breathing

The chestnut sidled and pranced beneath me. I soothed him once more, and forced myself to cycle through the Five Styles of Breathing.

The Breath of the Pulse of the Earth, drawn into the pit of the belly and the depths of the groin, inhaled and exhaled through the mouth.

The Breath of Ocean’s Rolling Waves, drawn in through the nostrils to the middle belly, out through the mouth.

The Breath of Trees Growing, circulating energy to the limbs, trading nourishment with the world.

The Breath of Embers Glowing, in and out through parted lips, quickening the heart and warming the blood.

The Breath of Wind’s Sigh, pulled and expelled through the nostrils into the space between my eyes, making my head light.

Jacqueline Carey, Naamah’s Curse

People, like all animals, need to breathe. Its necessary for cellular respiration–brings in oxygen and rids the body of carbon dioxide. Inhalation brings in air (and filters it using cilia and mucousal membranes), and exhalation takes it back out. Biomechanically speaking, breath travels in through our nose (or mouth), through our larynx (voice box), into the trachea, the bronchi, bronchioles, and into the aveoli (special blood vessels in the aveoli exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood cells). But when we focus on our breath meditatively, we can feel it traveling through out our body, beyond just our lungs. Anapanasati is a Buddhist meditative technique centered on the mindfulness of breathing. The goal is to feel the sensation of breath through the body as one breathes. To do this, I’ve adapted the Five Styles of Breathing from Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah series.

  • 1) Breath of Ocean’s Rolling Waves–Breathe with a light but long inhale through the nose as the breath flows in and slides down along the central axis of the body (corresponding with the nadi for those familiar with chakra work) to the area of the solar plexus chakra, where it pools briefly before flowing back up and out through the throat with the mouth open in a way that feels almost like making the sound “huh”. Focus on clearing your self of burdensome emotions. Repeat until you feel calm and still (or as calm and still as you get).
  • Breath of the Pulse of the Earth–Breath in slowly and deeply through the mouth, down through the belly, and into the groin. Circulate the breath between the Sacral and Root chakras and allow it to ground you, connecting you to the earth. As you exhale, purse your lips and slowly but strongly blow out your air. Repeat until you feel solid and seated in the earth.
  • 3) Breath of Embers Glowing–Breathe with a naturally paced breath in and out through parted lips as if blowing on the embers of a fire to get it to relight. Allow your breath to ignite in the area of your heart chakra, warming the blood and spreading that warmth to the body as it travels into your muscles and organs. Focus on kindling your compassion until it permeates your entire being. Repeat until you have acknowledged and released any excess ego.
  • 4) Breath of Tree’s Growing–Breathe in deeply but swiftly through the nose, holding the breath before exhaling through the mouth. Push your breath outwards on the exhale, down your limbs and past your fingers and toes, and draw it back along the same path, exchanging nourishment with the world. Focus on building the web of connections between you and the world. Repeat until you feel renewed.
  • 5) Breath of Wind’s Sigh–Breathe swiftly and lightly in and out through the nose, up into the space between the eyes into the top of the head (the area of the Third Eye and Crown chakras). Focus it filling the space like a balloon and expanding your brain, your mind, your very thoughts. Repeat until you feel expansive and embracing.

What I’m reading now:
A (long) while back, I started reading a book called Shaman, Sorcerers, and Saints: A Prehistory of Religion by Brian Hayden.  I never got to finish it because it was a library book, and it was when we were in transition between Virginia to Illinois and back again, but I finally managed to snag a used copy online at a decent price. I’m also reading a newer book (via Kindle) called The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be adding both to my big list of Recommended Reading for Paganism.

Parting thought (a quote from Octavia Butler’s Earthseed books):

“All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
is Change.

God
is Change.”

From the Wee Grimoire: Pair-of-socks, Not Balance

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Sharkbait: Mom, what’s a pair of socks?
Me: Huh?
Sharkbait: a PAIR OF SOCKS!
Me: You need a pair of socks? You have some on your feet! Why do you need more socks?
Sharkbait: NO mom, a PAIR-A-SOCKS! What IS it?!?
Me (with a total blank look): I have no idea what you are talking about. Socks are the things we put on our feet to keep them warm. A pair of socks are two socks that match…hopefully.
Sharkbait (looking exasperated): Duh! That’s not the pair-a-socks I’m talking about.
Chickadee (looking up from her book): Mom, he means a pair-of-DOCKS.
Me: A pair-of-do…. Oh! A PARADOX!!!
Sharkbait: That’s what I said mom! A Pair-a-socks! What is it?

Nevermind that I seriously wondered where my kids heard the word paradox, we busted out the dictionary (via google) and looked it up. One of these days I should get a print dictionary…the kids should probably learn how to use one. Anyhow, the definition wasn’t terribly useful for a 6 year old. Luckily his sister came to the rescue with her encyclopedia-like knowlege of Disney movies, which led to an intense discussion of how we should be like paradoxes.

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the concept of balance as a spiritual or emotional goal. Balance, to me, seemed too much like trying to stand on the middle of a see-saw, putting a litte of this here, a little of that there. For a while, I tried out the idea of equilibrium. At first glance it seems like another word for balance, but when applied to math and science means something else–“An equilibrium of a dynamical system is a value of the state variables where the state variables do not change.” Equilibruim (chemical) basically says that there is X amount of product A and Y amount of product B reacting together to form Z amount of product C until it hits a sort of sweet spot of constant amounts of A, B, and C (and meanwhile, inside the solution its still active, with A and B combining to form C and C splitting up for form A and B). But that seemed too complicated, and still…not quite right.

Kids though, exhibit moments of brillance and are often good at cutting through the BS.

We should be like a pair of socks.

We should be paradoxes.

And we have now added an adapted version of the Mulan song to their little BoS/Grimoire.

Earth, sky
Day, night
Sound and silence
Dark and light

One alone is not enough
You need both together
Winter, summer
Moon and sun
Lesson Number One

Like a rock
You must be hard!
Like an Oak
You must stand firm!
Come quick
Like my blade
Think fast
Unafraid

Like a cloud,
Float softly
Like bamboo,
Bend in the wind
Creeping slow,
Like a turtle
Know in peace that
It’s ok to be afraid

One alone is not enough
You need both together
Winter, summer
Moon and sun
Lesson number one!

(Adapted from the song “Lesson Number One” from Mulan II)

(Almost) Ostara Musings

Hello, Spring!

A Prayer to Spring–

Spring dances change into the turning of the year, into the turning of our lives.  She shrugs off the slumber of winter and warms the cold earth with a cloak of flowers. Some changes we anticipate with eagerness, and some we plan with exquisite detail.  But some come unwanted, with pain and reluctance. To all these changes, Spring brings us the gift of perspective, beckoning us to expectation, hope, and rebirth.

May your sunlight and the rain be reminders that as the Earth is renewing, so can we.

(our family prayer for the coming Spring)

Its almost Spring Equinox!  Or, if you prefer, Ostara.  Or in our family, First Blooming/. Either way, spring is in the air…

The speedwell and chickweed are blooming, and apparently (I love this blog) so are the bloodroot, skunk cabbages, and trout lilies (if you live in the right place for it).  Plus the stinkbugs* are on the move again…blegh.  I even saw a blue bird just the other day on the branch outside my living room window.

Either way, Winter is leaving, the Sun is nearing Equal Time, and Spring is arriving for the year.  The wheel is turning, and the time is upon us to celebrate the seasons.

On the twenty-second day of March, a pine-tree was cut in the woods and brought into the sanctuary of Cybele, where it was treated as a great divinity. The duty of carrying the sacred tree was entrusted to a guild of Tree-bearers. The trunk was swathed like a corpse with woollen bands and decked with wreaths of violets, for violets were said to have sprung from the blood of Attis, and the effigy of a young man, doubtless Attis himself, was tied to the middle of the stem.

(from The Golden Bough by Sir James G.  Frazer)

For some, its time to celebrate Ostara as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year ritual cycle, to others perhaps its a time to celebrate Eostre (who may or may not be a historical goddess), or maybe it might be time to celebrate the resurrection of Attis by Cybele, the Mayan return of the serpent of the sun, or one of many other global traditions for this time of year.

In our home its Chickadee’s birthday; as a result our celebration of First Blooming gets moved around a little bit so that we don’t celebrate them at the same time (we usually take weather into account too–sometimes Spring is a wee bit late, or early).  But either way, we celebrate First Blooming (Ostara) as one of four solar holidays.  Part of our celebrations will be our spring planting, an egg scavenger hunt, bake a “birthday cake for the sun” (we used to do this ever sabbat, but our observation of the sabbats have evolved a bit so that we only celebrate the “sun’s birthdays” on the quarter days), and have a special meal, followed by a small ritual.

A “Pagan Lent”…I opted out of resolutions again this year, in favor of “goals”.  And I don’t really start them on Jan 1, but rather use that time to think about how to realistically meet them.  Instead, I observe a sort of “Pagan Lent” between Imbolc and Ostara**, in which focus on making the negative changes needed to meet those goals (and by “negative” I mean subtractive, rather than bad)–I focus on the stuff I have to get rid of, literally, metaphorically, or spiritually.

One goal is the ever popular “exercise more and eat healthier”, though I’m hoping to make that one a bit more targeted.  I’ve dusted off the abandoned food journal (which, in this day and age, means I’m re-downloading the app that I abandoned when I had to set my phone to factory settings).  Another goal is taking better control of the finances–for the first time in a long time, we finally make enough money to hypothetically have a disposable income, which means we can pay off the remainder of our medical debt and any other outstanding bills.  We just paid off one car and my student loans, which are a huge burden relieved…  And the third big one is to continue to expand and deepen the relationship with our bioregion as individuals and as a family, but I’m a cold weather wuss and this February was cold and snowy (and icy).

Life in general… Its been an interesting year.  This winter break was time for Sharkbait’s medication reevaluation.  Most of my regular readers know about Sharkbait and his ADHD–well, we started stimulant medications at the beginning of the school year with mixed success (we were already using non-stimulant meds).  At first, it seemed to be great–it helped his ADHD in class, but we ran into problems with his teacher and him being a poor fit for one another, which cause his anxiety problems to flare up again.  Not knowing the extent of the problems there, when we increased the stimulant dosage, it triggered his OCD (Sharkbait is a prodigious collector–usually its controllable, but this time it was not).  It got so bad that (after decreasing the dosage) I ended up taking him off stimulants and pulling him out of school for the last four days before Winter Break.  We went back to see the doc, and put him on a new stimulant (Vyvanse), which seems to be working great so far!

Chickadee and Sharkbait are both in gymnastics and (mostly) loving it.  Sharkbait sometimes gets frustrated by not being able to just run around and jump on things, and Chickadee sometimes gets frustrated (and psychs herself out) with her own perfectionism.  We started just last spring, and Chickadee is almost ready for XCEL (USAG’s recreation teams)…not sure if she will make it by this spring or this fall’s selections (my pocket book is okay with later rather than sooner).  If she does well and really gets into it (and wants to of course), we might eventually switch her to the Junior Olympic track.  Sharkbait on the other hand, just likes to flip and jump and swing on things…which is a-ok with me.  He just got the hang of the handstand and now feels compelled to do them pretty much everywhere.  And I do mean everywhere, appropriate or not.

buddy

Work for the Hubby and I is very work-like.  Blegh.  Can’t we just win the lottery already?  Though, I guess we’d need to play the lottery.  Otherwise, we are anxiously awaiting the camping season and watching lots of YouTube (True Facts by zefrank=hilarious).  Really, nothing at all exciting.  Except we got a almost brand new mattress (its SO comfy) from our neighbors who got stationed on the other side of the country and weren’t taking anything with them (also got a coffee table, a microwave (which is now in my office at work), and a new crock pot, among other things).  Also, we have two cats now, much to the chagrin of my allergies.*** And I guess there’s really not much else going on at the moment…just waiting for beach weather!

Tarot for Spring:  The Spring Equinox is a time of equilibrium and balance, where what will be is poised for something, but the great churning of gears to make things happen have left that something up for grabs.  Spring is a time of beginning, and the end is still unknown…but hopeful.  The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that life is a gamble, while Temperance reminds us that the flowers need equal part rain and sun to grow.  The Lovers because, after all…tis the season for all that canoodling, and The Star because the uncertain future has plenty of promise.

tarot

Moment of Zen:  Use ritual for changing your brain

The leader of the workshop talked about the importance of repetition as part of the magic or power of the chant. She explained that repeating the chant over and over is a transformative act. When we begin, she explained, the chant feels new. We are learning the words and melody and appreciating their beauty. After a while, however, repeating the line over and over again becomes boring. A little longer, and it begins to sound like nonsense, like senseless babble. This is where it becomes truly tempting to stop; where we might begin to feel foolish. But if we can keep going through this phase, we will come to a place where we begin to feel transformed by the chant.

We repeated the same line again and again, and it was just as she said. At some point, it was like the chant began to sink into my body, like it was absorbed by my flesh and bones and became a part of me, or I became a part of it, somehow. And I felt myself changed by it, touched by the loving, compassionate energy of the goddess we sang to.

(from The Magic of Repetition @ Greenwoman Studio–go and read the rest!)

Rituals are those things we do, over and over and over, until they wear tracking deep into our mind and body, changing our selves at the most basic level.  Scientifically, this has been described as experience-based neuroplasticity–by changing an experience (or our perception of it), we can create changes in the wiring of our brains (but, this only goes so far).  As Pagans, we can use rituals and magic to transform ourselves from the inside out and beyond–out into the world by changing how we interact and connect with those around us, with our locus, the greater oikos of the Earth and Humanity.

A Parting Thought:

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

~Anne Bradstreet

Extras:

*Stinkbugs (the non-native ones) are awful–they can have up to 5 breeding generations in a year (in tropical climates), and females can lay some 240 eggs per generation.  In “good” (for them) conditions, they can reach sexual maturity in 2 weeks.  They eat pretty much everything and are now confirmed in 41 US states and Canada, in a matter of 13 years since it was first introduced.  Plus, no natural parasites (though there may be some hope on that horizon–one parasitic wasp has been be found to take them on, and there may be a fungus that likes them).  If you have these non-native stinkbugs, kill ‘em when you see ‘em.

**”Pagan Lent” became a “thing” on my radar a few years ago.  I’ve observed it one way or the other (with more or less success) depending on the year.  Its popped up from time to time since then on some other blogs.

***I am severely allergic to cats.  We are somewhat managing to keep it to a minimum with weekly baths, daily brushing (not by me) an anti-allergen spray for the cats between baths, an anti-allergen spray for the furniture and carpet, daily vacuuming with a HEPA filter vacuum, a HEPA filter in every room, a washable filter for the AC unit, and a change in allergy medication.  Plus, no cats in my bedroom.  And the soft paws–because I get a huge welt if I get scratched, the cats all have claw covers.

Thalassa’s Etiquette Guidelines for Interfaith Discussions (Version 2.0)

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I’ve updated this a bit since I wrote and posted it the first time in 2011.  Here’s the updated version…

1.) If someone asks about your religious beliefs, share (respectfully and with compassion). If they don’t ask, don’t assume that sharing will be welcome and go out of your way to do so. Do not engage in a religious discussion with the intent of being “right” or “winning”–a discussion about religion will always go wrong if its about being “right”.

2.) If you feel compelled to ask someone else as a way to spark a discussion about their beliefs, back off if they aren’t interested. If someone else approaches you about a disussion of your beliefs and you don’t feel that the time, place, or person is appropriate for the conversation…you are not obligated to participate in it. If you decline, try to do so politely–not being obliged to participate isn’t a call to be a jerk.

3.) Make sure the setting is appropriate for the discussion so neither party will feel uncomfortable. Places where a discussion of religion is generally a bad idea–at work, at a family reunion, at a wedding or funeral, in line at the grocery, etc.

4.) Don’t act like your truth is everyone’s truth–it isn’t, because if it were, there wouldn’t be a conversation on the matter (they’d already be agreeing with you). When expressing your beliefs to someone of another belief system, use I-statements to express your personal beliefs.

5.) Whenever possible, refrain from using absolute or exclusive language (when speaking/writing), but don’t assume that absolute or exclusive statements are made with negative intent (when listening/reading). If you are unsure of someone’s intent or motivation, ask them to explain or elaborate or clarify their statements.

6.) If you are in a mutual discussion of beliefs, don’t use your theological opinion as a tool for condemnation, insult, or bullying. Don’t use your difference of religious opinion as an excuse for these things either. Religious differences exist because we individually and collectively experience life in a myriad of ways–don’t denigrate the sincerely held belief of another because your life experiences have been different than theirs.

7.) Realize that the people who vocally use their beliefs about religion as an excuse to be a jerk are louder than those that don’t, if you want to be a good ambassador for your faith, act your ideals (even share them in moderation and with respect when they are welcome) but don’t preach them.

8.) Language is imprecise–different religious and denominations have differing terminology; understand the limits of your religious literacy and ask for clarification if you are unsure of one’s meaning. Be sure to differentiate personal beliefs from institutional beliefs.

9.) Disagreement is not an automatic insult or attack. Try to refrain from taking offense to comments that may be well-intended, but poorly phrased. If you feel that you are being attacked, take a step back and reevaluate–often people imagine mistake a difference of opinion for a personal criticism…and even more often people mistake criticism of an idea as a personal insult. If someone feels that you are attacking them, take a step back and reevaluate.

10.) Courteously and constructively correct misinformation. Do not get drawn into an argument (as opposed to a debate). To the best of your ability, be polite–even when the other person is not. Speak with respect and compassion. To the best of your ability, be patient–even when the other person is not.

11.) If things start going badly, be the adult and back off. When this happens, don’t wait for the other person – do it first. If you are a person that has to have the last word, remember that walking away with dignity while the other person brays like an ass is its own last word.

12.) Know when to apologize. Conversations on deeply held personal beliefs can get heated. An unintentional insult is still an insult. Don’t leave a mutual exchange of ideas and beliefs by burning your bridges because of ignorance or an excess of pride on your part. It is possible to apologize to the person (for causing them distress) without apologizing for your beliefs themselves.

Hallelujah, Mr. President

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“As we speak, around the world, we see faith inspiring people to lift up one another — to feed the hungry and care for the poor, and comfort the afflicted and make peace where there is strife. We heard the good work that Sister has done in Philadelphia, and the incredible work that Dr. Brantly and his colleagues have done. We see faith driving us to do right.

But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge — or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism — terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.

We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion.

So how do we, as people of faith, reconcile these realities — the profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths, operating alongside those who seek to hijack religious for their own murderous ends?

Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and I returned from India — an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity — but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs — acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.

So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try. And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.

And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.

(snip)

“And so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion — any religion — for their own nihilistic ends. And here at home and around the world, we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom — freedom of religion — the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination.

There’s wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.

But part of humility is also recognizing in modern, complicated, diverse societies, the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment. And if, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another’s religion, we’re equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities who are the targets of such attacks. Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t question those who would insult others in the name of free speech. Because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcome, that they, too, are full and equal members of our countries.”

(the entirety of the President’s remarks)

 

Unfortunately, it comes to no surprise that in a 5 page long speech, the so-called Christian conservative pundits so-often featured on Faux News centered a week’s worth of outrage on two sentances taken entirely out of context…

It is unfortunate that such close-minded and close-hearted individuals are so lacking in integrity and intellectual honesty. It is even more unfortunate that so many buy their crap. Putting your head in the sand regarding one’s own history when pointing out the atrocitites of others makes one a hypocrite.

Personally, I though it was spot on (even if I’m not entirely fond of the venue or the religiousization of politics).

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