Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring is Here

You may remember that, back on Groundhog Day (aka Imbolc), Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. For a while, it even seemed like he might be right. It got warmer, our crocuses broke ground, and our maple tree began putting out leaves. A week or so later, the temperatures plummeted again and snow covered everything.

I’ve wanted to kick that groundhog ever since.

Today, though, on the first official day of spring, it is finally getting warm again. The flowering trees near my workplace are blooming, our crocuses are back in force, and the daffodils have opened up. New birds are visiting our feeder, and the squirrels are frolicking in our back yard.

Happy Ostara, everyone.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Falwell's Double Standard

Jerry Falwell recently visited our (sometimes) fair state. From his interview in The Winchester Sun:

Patrick: One of the social conservative issues that has gotten a lot of attention this week is homosexuality, because Dr. (Albert) Mohler at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville has said that Christians should accept that there probably is a biological basis for homosexuality.

Falwell: That's what the article said, but today, if you go to his Web site, he denies all of that.

Patrick: What is your thought on that?

Falwell: I don't think anybody is born a bank robber or an adulterer or a homosexual or you name it. I think we are all born sinners in need of a new birth experience, but I think our behavior is all a matter of choice.

Patrick: There's a lot of science recently that contradicts. (Here Falwell interrupted the question.)

Falwell: Half of those are gay scientists. It's hogwash. I believe that when you're born, you have a clean slate, but you have a fallen nature because of Adam and Eve. Everyone needs to be born again, to come to know Christ personally.

Isn't it nice to be put in the same category as bank robbers? I get really tired of all the implications fundamentalists make about the character of gays, and not just our sexual habits. That, though, could be an entire separate post.

Falwell's finger pointing, however, did not extend to Newt Gingrich:
Patrick: Do you think Gingrich should run for president after his recent revelations to you (about his marital infidelity at the same time he was leading the charge against Clinton over having an affair in the White House)?

Falwell: I think that Newt Gingrich is, without question, the brightest politician in America today. He has forgotten more than most of them know. He is speaking to our commencement exercise in May at Liberty University. John McCain spoke last year. We have not endorsed anyone. But my opinion is that if Newt Gingrich announces, he will immediately be among the top runners.
He sidesteps the question about Gingrich completely, which I find ironic since he'd just likened gay people to adulterers, like Gingrich. Hypocrisy and sexual sins don't seem to be so bad when they're done by your people instead of those people.

The saddest part is that no one in Falwell's camp, nor any of his supporters, is likely to call him on this obvious double standard. This is why I think fundamentalist leaders are more interested in playing 'gotcha', 'mine's better than yours', and getting to treat others badly than in actually doing anything to help people or 'the family', their most cherished words. I think I know who is really demonstrating flawed character here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Calling All Candidates...

Recently, I attended a Democratic Party function honoring the volunteers from the 2006 election. It was a high-level event, held in a historical building. The food was catered, and all the important local politicos were there. Naturally, several speeches were made by said politicos.

During one of the speeches, a cell phone began ringing. No modest chirp here, or clip of classical music. No, this phone blared “Sexyback” from Justin Timberlake! It lay on a table filled with middle-aged women, who all began looking at one another. No one claimed the phone, so it continued its mating call, provoking giggles from around the room.

Finally, one of the women was brave enough to pick it up. “Hello? Who are you calling for?” She then handed to another woman at the table, saying, “It’s for you.”

The phone was in plain view of everyone at the table, including the owner, but she was too embarrassed to pick it up. I’m certain that she was worried that other people would think that she had no taste, was pretending to be young, was actually immature, or even had loose morals. I suppose it’s also possible that a teenage offspring downloaded the tone, but I was rooting for a secret naughty streak. Life doesn’t end at 40, as I well know.

Democratic politicians act the same way about gays sometimes. Less than two weeks ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was saying that her door would always be open to us. Yesterday, though, after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff referred to homosexuality as ‘immoral’, she ducked the question when asked to agree or disagree with the statement. Barack Obama also sidestepped the question. Both issued statements later through their spokespeople, stating they disagreed with General Peter Pace. Since Hillary’s husband was the original institutor of the ‘Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell’ doctrine, she’s getting more press than Obama did.

Like the woman who didn’t want to admit the phone was hers, the Democratic Party is very good at wooing gays privately when it comes to volunteers and donations, then pretending like they don’t know us when the public is watching. I’m sure that both candidates went to check the polls before releasing politic statements through third parties. When will it occur to Democrats that the religious fundamentalists they want to draw in are more faithful to the Republican Party than their own wives? Furthermore, when will it occur to Hillary that both gays and fundamentalists have long memories?

Edwards was the only one that’s picked up the phone so far. From CNN:

BLITZER: First of all, in your opinion, is homosexuality immoral?

EDWARDS: I don't -- don't share that view. And I would go -- go further than that, Wolf. I think the don't ask, don't tell is not working. And as president of the United States I would change that policy.

Edwards is still balking on the marriage issue, but at least he was able to answer the ‘immoral’ question directly. He also said he wanted to end discrimination in this country, in general terms. Guess he’s not afraid of that ring tone.

Me, I favor the Addams Family theme. And I don’t get embarrassed when people laugh.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No Pagan sports fans?

I find it interesting how many Pagans snub sports. Many of us seem to have adopted the ‘intellectuals have more important things to think about’ attitude. If you look at history, however, ancient Pagans were very interested in sports. Many games, races, and gladiatorial battles were dedicated to the gods of Greece and Rome, for example. The most famous world-wide series of athletic competitions today, the Olympics, was originally held in honor of the god Zeus. The victors glorified the god, and their cities of origin basked in the glow.

“We know that, Miss Obvious,” you might say. “We’ve studied the ancient origins of many things. Did you know there were artistic and intellectual competitions as well?”

Hey, where do you think Jeopardy and American Idol got their start? Okay, maybe that's a stretch.

I am an intellectual, or so I am told. I am not an athlete. This is not because I think athletics are ‘beneath’ me, but because I am as athletic as a turnip and always have been. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching certain competitions, like ice skating (okay, NOT Greek in origin) or backing certain athletic teams. I must confess, though, that I have never watched the Superbowl. Why should I, when there’s a Jessica Fletcher marathon going on somewhere?

Go Cats!


Friday, March 9, 2007

Welcome to the new Rainbow Wind blog!

This is the new home of the Rainbow Wind blog. With so much going on at the national and state levels, I'm sure we'll find a lot to talk about.

If you had a link to the old Rainbow Wind blog, please change it to this page.