I want to take a hiatus from this blog. So see you around. :o)
If you communicate with me via email, do feel free. I’ll answer emails.
I’m no radical, I guess. Never voted outside the mainline, haven’t killed my TV, still drive a car. I’m not even down with the indie rock thing or whatever…I listen to Clapton while I’m doing my work. I’ve never sent a pledge to PETA but I stand firm in my approval of most of their films for particularly privileged audiences. So I was really lukewarm… I’ve neither loved nor hated the much despised organization…UNTIL I found out their official position on “pit bull” bans. PETA supports pit bull bans!!! Their qualified position is that bans protect these dogs so frequently and so badly abused.
Next time you think you’ll dog PETA for being a bunch of wacky radicals, wait. Dog it instead for being just another empty-headed tag-along on the system. PETA advocates essentially finally obliterating a whole group of dogs (!!!) that it, like the other fear- propagating lobbies, doesn’t understand. And under the guise of protection no less. I am discouraged to say the least, by the dull, elitist reaction of PETA on this matter. The lack of thoughtfulness in this case should be found more disgusting than any of their films.
If PETA wants to protect “pit bull” type dogs, it will need to reconsider the meaning of protection. Eradication is never protection. Protection involves increasing understanding and respect no matter how difficult the process. Protection’s only proper vehicle is an active love that confronts obstacles with a bold spirit of friendship and unrelenting care. PETA is right to say that breeding should be regulated and monitored closely, but to finally ban the dog’s existence is to declare her abusers just, and the dog of no value in her own right after all.
I never, ever call off work but I am ill today–I think I’ve caught a flu or something. So I’ve called out sick, and I’m thinking there’s no better time to finally blog down what I’ve been meaning to for several weeks.
I had the annual consultation with my Committee on Preparation for Ministry in August. It went very well. I remember being there with a sense of gratitude and joy the whole time. My CPM advocate and I had one late night consultation (during which he looked over my PIF) and one regular morning consultation. He thought that the PIF looked strong overall and suggested some changes (no male pronouns for God, structure of some of the narrative answers, etc.) and we agreed to circulate it to some friends for feedback. I’m just getting some of that feedback and nobody has suggested any major changes, so I feel good about my PIF.
The morning session was productive as well. My advocate noted that he thought I was really claiming my pastoral authority–how about that?–and I agreed. Really, things seem to be falling into line in a way that make God’s blessings clear. We agreed that I should go before CPM for final examination to be certified ready to receive a call 9 October!!!
That’s a big deal within the process. I’ll have a meeting with CPM in which they’ll be free to ask me questions regarding my final statement of faith, etc and I’ll preach a sermon while we’re at it. For the sermon, I won’t deviate from my custom of preaching from the lectionary. That Sunday’s readings include Exodus 32.1-14 and Matthew 22.1-14, and I’m excited about digging into these.
I feel pretty good about this upcoming meeting and I’m glad the day is finally fast approaching, but I am (as humans are wont to be in these situations) a little nervous! And I would covet all the prayers I can get. If all goes well 9 October, I should be allowed to circulate my PIF and seek a call.
I’m preaching in my home congregation this Sunday and I’m happy about that–always such a gracious bunch. I trust I won’t have it always this easy! And I’m always only a little nervous on delivery. It’s the beginning to write that trips me. Like the guy in the story given by the lectionary, I always feel like I’m on approach to ground holier than I’m tough enough to tread.
So I pray and then I stall just a little (thanks, Blog!) and then we work it out.
Municipal restrictions on the so- called “pit bull” type breeds are rooted in racist motives, and they serve to perpetuate racist stereotypes as well.
The fact is that lots of African Americans have decided to take bully breeds as companion animals. One of the human social reasons for these local bans is that governments often don’t trust black people generically to do the right thing. Speaking from my personal experience of working in a shelter, I can tell you that I’ve seen a share of African Americans whose interest in the dogs has the appearance of a desire to keep up on the toughness factor which is so hurtful to so many animals and families.* Guys like these don’t adopt our animals. They usually don’t even bother with a get acquainted visit. What I’ve seen more often are white and black families alike who want to provide good homes for misunderstood animals. They want to do the right thing.
Local bans perpetuate racial stereotypes and tensions by consigning non- violent dogs to an association with the (frequently) racially linked practice of dog fighting. You see a black person taking a bully type for a walk and you are disgusted by a pre-conceived caricature despite the possibility that this person is a responsible dog owner. This is unfair to humans of all races and dogs of all breeds. What will come next? Banning the Pomeranian in order to protect the ankles of children and elderly? Breed bans are not only unthoughtful but also racist, draconian and absurd.
*In the future I should like to make a post about breed restrictions and the effects on families with children.
Listen: this applies. That of which I have knowledge, I’m required to actively confront for good. So, since you’ve asked… even if you’ve just clocked out after a long day’s work in the shelter, if you see a dog who is standing with a worried look over his face and you know that he won’t lie down to rest because he’s just soiled his crate tray, you must remove him tenderly, stow him off well, clean his crate and re- place him with a spirit of gentleness and friendship. Be glad you are able to do this. It is finally your blessing!
Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14.16)
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta says the beating death of an illegal immigrant less than 20 miles from his city is “a real tragedy.”
But Barletta says he doesn’t think his campaign against illegal immigration created an atmosphere that encouraged an attack on Luis Ramirez. Three teenagers were charged Friday in the attack in Shenandoah.
Barletta says the motive for the beating is unknown. He says the “flip side” of the slaying of Ramirez is that illegal immigrants sometimes commit murder as well. (Sunday Patriot- News, Sunday, July 27 2008, A19)
I know neither what brought Luis Ramirez to this country nor the details of his passage. One of the deeply disheartening elements of this story is the casual, dismissive terms in which the mayor gave his response. How, I wonder, can Mayor Barletta talk about the “flip side” of anything about the individual Luis Ramirez? What a disturbing generalization he makes from the evidently irrelevant particular! The victim Ramirez hadn’t killed anybody and yet the mayor talks about a flip side on which illegal immigrants sometimes kill people too. People kill people indeed but this is not the flip side of Ramirez.