On Science and Faith

A failed attempt to organize action in response to the Orlando murders leaves Jim musing about why he remains a person of faith.

Advertisements

Sunday, June 19, I decided to attend an afternoon public meeting the agenda of which was to explore organizing action in the St. Louis area in response to the killing of 49 queer people, many of them latino, in Orlando last Sunday. We heard an overview on intersectionality and occupying space, listened to stories of oppressed people of color, received training on how to occupy space in a non-violent manner, and ultimately disbanded without setting specific action goals. It was generally speaking a very worthwhile experience, but all of us were shocked when, early in the meeting, a young gay man with an Asian appearance made a brief statement of objection to the proceedings, picked up his backpack and left. His protest was basically, “How can you talk about creating safe spaces where people who are frightened, hurting and angry can share their stories, on the one hand, and have this public meeting in a church sanctuary, on the other? Don’t you realize that the church has been one of the major oppressors of LGBTQ people for centuries and centuries?! I do not find this to be a safe space!”

How can you talk about creating safe spaces where people who are frightened, hurting and angry can share their stories, on the one hand, and have this public meeting in a church sanctuary?

Continue reading “On Science and Faith”

On Gender and Murder

My delayed reaction to the Orlando Massacre.

Sunday morning I awoke to the horrifying news: 20 had been killed in a mass shooting in Orlando. Stunned, I went about the business of getting Stephen and me to church. As usual, we picked up our neighbor, Jim, to give him a ride. His first words in the car were, “Did you hear that 50 people were killed in an attack on a gay bar?” There was something about having that initial estimate of deaths more than doubled that threw me into one of the worst places that I have ever found myself in. I almost couldn’t function. Thank God, our Rector, Jon, started the sermon with silence and a prayer for healing. But I couldn’t even watch the news that day, I was so much in a state of shock.

All of our problems in this world are not due to us queers. All of the problems of this world are due to the killers. The people who hate queer, fear queer, are pissed off at queer.

Continue reading “On Gender and Murder”

On Democracy

How the candidates stack up to the principles of democracy.

I arrived at Indiana University in the Fall of 1967 with the intention to begin and complete a PhD program in the philosophy of education. I was nearly 30 years old, and had stumbled down several other potential life paths, only to fall off of them again and again. Fortunately for me, my undergraduate philosophy professor, Elizabeth Steiner Maccia, had never lost confidence in my ability, and I had followed her to Indiana University from The Ohio State University. I had a good analytic mind, and she saw a place for me in the newly emerging field of the logic and methodology of educational inquiry. She and her spouse, George Maccia, both held academic appointments at Indiana, and were well-known in their professional circles.

Continue reading “On Democracy”