Category Archives: Society

Jeff Houghton’s “20 Things You Want to Hear a Christian Say”

Since middle school or high school or so, I’ve had rather a negative, knee-jerk reaction to words like “Christian,” “Catholic,” and “religious.” It always brought to mind the super-conservative, “you’re going to hell” sort of fundamentalism. I know that not all Christian, Catholic, and/or religious people are like that — I have many religious family members and friends who aren’t like that — but it’s still what first came to mind. That began to change for me when I learned about Unitarian Universalism during the end of my junior year at Bryn Mawr. Jeff Houghton’s list reminds me that “Christian” does not actually mean “conservative fundamentalism” (or “Christian fundamentalist”), even for people I don’t personally know. Continue reading

Why It’s A Very Good Thing That Mississippi’s “Personhood” Ballot Initiative Failed

The Mississippi initiative that would have legally defined life as starting at fertilization has failed! I don’t care what your positions on abortion are: that it failed should be considered good news. “Personhood” amendments go so far beyond banning abortion that, frankly, I think they’re absurd. Keep in mind, please, that there is an immense difference between believing that life begins at fertilization and believing that life should legally be defined as beginning at the moment of fertilization (essentially that a human zygote is legally a person, the same as any person on the planet).  Continue reading

Katie Burgess: My New Hero for “Calling Out a Corporate Sponsor at a Pro-LGBT Event”

Katie Burgess, if you didn’t know, is the Executive Director of TYSN (the Trans Youth Support Network*). She also wrote a really fierce post today for The Bilerico Project titled “Solidarity: Calling Out a Corporate Sponsor at a Pro-LGBT Event,” which included her speech at the 18th Annual National Coming Out Day Luncheon last week. I am so incredibly impressed with her, her words, and her speech. Continue reading

Rachel Maddow Explains Birth Control (Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get It)

First of all, either Mitt Romney just doesn’t understand how birth control works, or he actually thinks that the pill should be potentially be considered homicide. Secondly, Rachel Maddow is so much fun. Also, major props to the courageous Beth Schopis of Iowa, who actually called Romney out on the incoherence of his ‘I would absolutely support a personhood amendment, but I’m not against birth control’ position.  Continue reading

House Republicans Approved $1.5 Million to Defend DOMA

“It is absolutely unconscionable that Speaker Boehner is tripling the cost for his legal boondoggle to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “At a time when Americans are hurting and job creation should be the top priority, it just shows how out of touch House Republicans have become that they would spend up to $1.5 million dollars to defend discrimination in our country.”
–Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post

This is ridiculous. No, wait, this is beyond ridiculous. I may need to check a thesaurus for a new word because, well, really? Are they serious? I know that the majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives are . . . shall we say, not people with whom I have many political views in common, but wanting to spend $1.5 million on a lawyer to defend the “Defense of Marriage” Act is just absurd.  Continue reading

Helping Students Living with Autism Speak with DonorsChoose.org

Imagine having to navigate through life completely silenced; never being able to tell someone your opinion or communicate your needs. Many of my students living with Autism face this experience every day of their lives.

Mr. Cunningham, a teacher at Hearst Elementary School in Chicago, IL, created a classroom project at DonorsChoose.org called “Helping Students Living with Autism Speak.” He has a class of thirteen students, all of them living with Autism, ranging from second through fifth grade. His project involves using the text-to-speech capabilities of iPod Touches with his students; he writes, “This technology will provide my students with the power of a voice; something many of us take for granted.” Unfortunately, this project will not affect these students’ lives unless the money is raised for the iPods.  Continue reading

Alternatives to Columbus Day

Growing up, Columbus Day never really meant anything to me. After all, we still had to go to school, and don’t all real holidays grant us a day off from school? (Halloween doesn’t, I suppose, but it involves massive amounts of candy, and that’s pretty close.) I didn’t realize that today was Columbus Day until I noticed a bunch of posts on Facebook protesting Columbus Day with pictures like these:

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CeCe is out of Jail!

Good news: CeCe McDonald has finally been released on bail! After four months of CeCe being unjustly incarcerated, the community has managed to raise enough money to meet bail (after her bail was lowered from $150,000 to $75,000 on the 22nd of September), and she is out!  Continue reading

Georgia Killed Him

Troy Davis died tonight at 11:08 PM ET. The state of Georgia killed him. After four hours of deliberation, the Supreme Court decided to deny a last-minute stay of execution, and so Georgia went throught with it.

Before Troy Davis died, he had the following to say:

I’d like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I’m not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask . . . is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight. For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.

Don’t Let Them Kill Troy Davis

Troy Davis will be killed at 7:00 PM EDT tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21st, 2011. The state of Georgia has sentenced him to death for a crime for which “no forensic or DNA evidence linking Davis to the shooting has ever been found, and nor has the murder weapon.” He has been on death row for nearly as long as I have been alive.

Amnesty International urges people to demand that “Chatham County (Savannah) District Attorney Larry Chisolm seek a withdrawal of the death warrant and support clemency himself” (Chatham County’s District Attorney’s office’s contact information: Telephone: 912-652-7308   Fax: 912-652-7328). Their petition to the Georgia Pardons Board and District Attorney Chisolm is still available hereCall Judge Penny Freesemann at Telephone: 912-652-7252 who has to accept the DA’s withdrawal.

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