† ... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next magnets belong to the fridge of my friend Olivia

Nice to have your very own cruise line, isn't it!



* Discussion *

What do you think about the Salvation Army situation?

Talk about it here.

Read the forum that was banned by one reader's office computer because it has "sexual content." I must be having more fun than I thought!



WHAT I'M READING...

Tipping the Velvet
by
Sarah Waters


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

West Wing
Law and Order


Pictures from the Pride March in SF are now up at Club Photo, as are the photos from our weekend in Santa Barbara.


That's it for today!

US AND THEM

12 July 2001

Well, theyíve gone and done it again. Itís been in all the news lately, but I first heard about it from a story in the Washington Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37723-2001Jul9.html

The Bush administration is working with the nation's largest charity, the Salvation Army, to make it easier for government-funded religious groups to practice hiring discrimination against gay people, according to an internal Salvation Army document.

This is so wrong, wrong, wrong on so many levels that it left me sputtering at my computer most of the day.

A supposedly Christian organization is petitioning to be allowed to discriminate, and the government of all the people is working to let them.

Thatís what it boils down to.

Like the Boy Scouts, this organization, which does so much good for so many people, now wants to be officially permitted to hold a segment of the population as not good enough to hold a job in their organization.

Never mind that discrimination in the workplace was declared unconstitutional years ago.

"Weíre religious. We should be allowed to be different."

And the worst part is that the President of all the people wants to let them.

(OK, so heís not my president, or the president of the majority of the voters, who voted for Al Gore, but heís in office now, thanks to the Supreme Court, and presumably he is supposed to represent the interests of all the tax-paying American citizens, not just the citizens he likes.)

Again, the mind boggles, as it has through all the brouhaha over the Boy Scouts. I didnít understand then what was so bad about a gay man teaching a kid to tie knots or build pinewood derby cars, or what was so bad about a gay kid learning to become a good citizen, going on camp-outs, and having fun with other kids. Or what was so bad about teaching straight kids to be accepting of all people (as is spelled out in the Boy Scout rules).

Now I canít understand what would be so terrible having a gay person, say, work at sorting clothes in a Salvation Army thrift shop, or ringing bells as a Salvation Army Santa, or doing whatever else the Salvation Army does for the community. How could it possibly negatively affect anybody to have a gay person on the payroll.

And why in the world would the president of the United States be bending over backwards (only now I see heís backpedaling. This is an administration that is being run by the PR Department, I suspect) to allow this blatant discrimination against a segment of the tax-paying United States citizenry.

Why is our culture marching deeper and deeper into "us vs. them" territory? I donít want to be "us." I donít want to be "them." I want there to be a united country (thatís even in our name: UNITED States) which is tolerant and accepting of everyone, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, dietary preferences, shoe size, or which way the toilet paper goes on a roll. And I want the man in the highest office in the land to fight for the people he doesnít like as hard as for the people he does just because heís everybodyís president.

If itís "them" today, will it be "me" tomorrow? Why do so many people sit back passively and just let this injustice happen?

My initial reaction to this latest criminal act of discrimination was to make certain I do my part, forget donating things to the Salvation Army thrift shop, walk past those Salvation Army Santas, etc. My silent protest that nobody will even notice.

But then I decided this doesnít get the message across. I want to be more proactive.

So when Christmas comes around this year and all those Santas take to the streets, I will have a card ready to slip into the pot. The card will let them know that I really wanted to contribute money for them to help the needy at Christmas time, but because of their homophobic philosophy, I have taken the money I would have donated and have given it, instead, to a local AIDS organization.

I will then make it a point to pass as many Salvation Army Santas as I possibly can. It may be a small thing, but at least Iíll feel my voice is being heard--even if itís only a whisper.

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up

Martin Niemoeller


One Year Ago:
To be Poor in America


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 7/11/01 by Bev Sykes