You Oughta Know - Transgender Rights

Transgender Rights

Adding to the list of groups that are infuriated by the president, the LGBTQ+ community is having their rights trampled on by an executive order that removes the federal protections and guidance for trans students to use the bathroom associated with their gender identities in school. This move is in direct opposition to the ACLU case currently being heard by the federal Supreme Court, which is fighting for trans student Gavin Grimm’s ability to use the boy’s bathroom as his school. (Original coverage from The Washington Post) The New York Times reported that the order included verbiage stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, but rolls back other protections and lays it in the hands of the states. (Also, Reuters’s Coverage) No matter what, our transgender brothers and sisters deserve our assistance in fighting for their human and civil rights. Even the Pope agrees, suggesting today that it is better to be an atheist than one of many” Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.’ (Source) (Also, Patheos) This is a sentiment that the Pope has shared on a number of issues, such as the rejection of refugees and gun ownership.

One Video

Speaking of transgender rights, a video making the circuit comes from The View and includes interviews with Gavin Grimm and Laverne Cox discussing the recent news regarding Transgender rights.

Awesome Woman of the Day

The New Yorker has a profile about the first woman and person of color to be a Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. This overlaps quite well with my day job and is a story of passion and perseverance; she is also a librarian in background, which seems like it should be normal, but she is the first librarian to lead the Library of Congress since 1974. Awesome! (Source)

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.