Texas Newspaper Omits Same-Sex Spouse’s Name in Obituary

Texas Newspaper Omits Same-Sex Spouse’s Name in Obituary

The newspaper publisher removed the husband’s name because he believed it was ‘contrary to God’s word.’

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer March 16, 2018, at 3:26 p.m.

A SAME-SEX COUPLE IN Dallas is accusing a newspaper of discrimination after the paper omitted one of their names in a family member’s obituary. After Barry Giles’ mother, Brenda Light, died in February, the local newspaper in Olton, Texas, removed his husband’s name from her obituary, citing “religious and ethical reasons,” Fox 4 News reported.  In the original obituary sent to The Olton Enterprise, Giles wrote, “Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas.” Giles and Gambill have been together for 31 years.  However, when it was published, there was no mention of Gambill.  Read the entire article here.

Helping Poor And Migrants Is ‘Equally Sacred’ As Fighting Abortion

Pope Francis: Helping Poor And Migrants Is ‘Equally Sacred’ As Fighting Abortion

Pope Francis issued a scathing rebuke of Catholics who prioritize some church laws and doctrines ― including those condemning abortion ― over fighting for the poor and the oppressed.

In an apostolic exhortation released Monday, Francis lamented that some Catholics think of protecting many marginalized groups as a secondary or superficial issue. The pontiff said that while efforts to restrict abortion are crucial, it’s just as important for members of his flock to fight for the rights of the “already born.”

Francis wrote in his exhortation, “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

Read the entire article here.

Camp Words in Congressional Record

More to Think About: Community

Rep. John Larson came to Faith Church for many reasons. Rep. Larson has visited numerous times, bringing information and keeping us informed. On this visit, he did two important things: he presented a copy of a proclamation in conjunction with having Rev. Camp’s words read into the Congressional Record, and he made a contribution of $1000 to be used for mission through Faith Church.

 

REMARKS BY STEPHEN W. CAMP

______

HON. JOHN B. LARSON

of Connecticut in the House of Representatives

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to include in
the Record remarks made by the Reverend Stephen W. Camp at the Be the
Light Interfaith Candle Lighting Vigil at Congregation Beth Israel in
West Hartford, CT on August 23, 2017.

The Reverend Stephen W. Camp, M.Div., Senior Pastor, Faith
Congregational Church of Hartford, CT

``The prophetic voice Maya Angelou once said, `I've learned
that people will forget what you have said; people will
forget what you did, but people will never forget how you
made them feel.'
America was sent a message recently, a message that America
rarely feels as deeply. As America watched the unfolding
story centered in the little sleepy college town in Virginia.
it was forced to feel, the kind of feeling that one never
forgets. It was reminiscent of Selma and ``Bloody Sunday.''
It brought to mind Birmingham with the dog and fire hoses; it
reminded America of the open hostility and defiance of a
George Wallace. As America watched in recent days, some were
stirred by the memory of ancestors and family members being
marched into ovens, reminded of some of the worst inhumanity
that our world has produced. The genie, we thought, was back
in the tightly dosed bottle, the monster was locked away in
its cage, but here it was again raring it ugly head, saying,
``I'm not dead yet! America felt pain once again.
For some I'm sure, it simply felt like a scab had been
ripped off an old wound. Still others may have thought these
days were behind us, a past just-as-soon forgotten. But lest
we forget, lest we ignore for even a moment--this pain rooted
in forced Indian reservations and the buying and selling of
human beings, lest we forget, it will surely surface and seek
to cause havoc and pain until it is faced and fixed. The
events of late teach all of us, as if any had doubt; that
America is not healed yet. The work is not done. It seems
just yesterday that Jewish cemeteries were vandalized, or
just the other day that terrorist bombed a mosque or burned
churches in the south. Were they just isolated incidents? No,
but somehow they connected us and called us to feel, to be
awake, to be alert--to mobilize for good. And here we are
again.
Charlottesville conjured up old feelings. Many who marched
in Charlottesville that day, as we watched, most of us glued
to the television, as they boldly marched, unhooded this
time, khaki wearing white men, with their contorted angry
faces, and carrying tiki torches, trying it seemed to
desperately symbolize their power, their might, but only
succeeding to pull back the scab and memory of historic
oppression, failing to offer even a flickering of light, and
of peace. We watched with sadness while they shouted hateful
words and embodied a most detestable part of the American
mosaic, frankly, only making many of us remember and feel the
acute sickness that is still a part of America. For those who
marched with counter intent, with ``never again'' etched upon
their hearts, with ``non-violent direct action'' embedded in
their spirit, many of them young people who have gotten the
lessons that many of us who are older have tried to teach. So
many counteracted and confronted, they stood tall and whether
we liked it or not, they stood their ground and they gave us
hope that one day the pain would give way to promise.
We can take heart, because through them we knew that ``we
shall indeed, overcome.'' But dearly, we have not yet reached
that Promised Land. We have not yet fully embraced the place
that Dr. King and Rabbi Hershel who marched arm in arm tried
to show and to teach us. We haven't yet felt how Malcom who
epitomized both the hope and the worry of the movement for
justice, worry that integrity in the movement would be
comprised given the times they were in, yet united with a
yearning to taste real freedom for all. All of them
understood that justice had a cost attached to it. However,
we still haven't learned yet, how to include all the voices,
sit with all the pain, open and feel all of the diverse ways
we are together, but there is hope shining through, maybe
given the Boston event, that we will get there. The beloved
community will one day be! Think of the blueprint that was
left to us, the light that was given and passed to us, as
they each in their own ways, gave their lives to pass on to
us, a real hope for a better tomorrow.
What I guess Charlottesville has challenged me to do, is to
keep singing songs of justice, keep speaking words of peace.
The challenge is to sing a new song in this often strange
land, this place where America is still striving to form a
more perfect union, this place where free speech should
always be celebrated, must always be protected, but never
allowed by any to be abused. We are called to sing together
the words of peace, the words of hope, sing so as to feel
that hope and that peace until it is never forgotten, until
it is so deeply felt that no one is left behind without voice
or value.
So we come together again, gathered by the many ways God
gathers us, we come together to sing even when we may not
feel like singing, sing even though the words may not always
be dear to us or the language understood by everyone is not
plain. We come together to share words of peace, even when it
seems the world is bent upon acts of violent expression. We
come together knowing that love trumps hate, that without
love and hope we perish, so we hope, we believe and work for
a better day.
Maya Angelou was right, people will never forget--when it
is felt. It is our work, to help each other feel the presence
of peace. It's our work to care for one another, to bind up
those who are broken, to repair the world and make the world
a just place for all. This is our work to feel, not the hate
that some would have us feel, but to offer a binding,
sustaining and enduring feeling that builds community and
opens hearts to know and feel that another world is possible.
It is there, don't you feel it, can't you see it? It is
there, just over the horizon. Let's go there together! Thank
you.''

 

Another “she persisted” moment?

Another “she persisted” moment?

GOP panel chairman scolds Kamala Harris about ‘courtesy’ after she grills deputy AG on Russia probe

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was scolded by a Republican committee chairman Wednesday as she grilled law enforcement and intelligence officials on the Russia probe.

The California Democrat sought assurances from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein that he would allow special counsel Robert Mueller to fully and independently investigate possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

“You indicated in your statement that you chose a person who exercises a ‘degree’ of independence — not full independence — from the normal chain of command,” Harris said.

Then Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) broke in and asked the committee chairman to direct Harris to let Rosenstein speak.

“Are you willing or are you not willing to give him the authority to be fully independent of your ability, statutorily and legally, to fire him?” Harris said. “Yes or no, sir?”

Rosenstein said regulations gave Mueller full independence, and Harris again asked if he could give his assurance in writing, as his predecessors had — and the committee chairman interrupted her.

“Would the senator suspend?” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “The chair is going to exercise its right to allow the witnesses to answer the question, and the committee is on notice to provide the witnesses the courtesy, which has not been extended all of the way across, the courtesy for questions to get answered.”

Harris pointed out that Rosenstein had joked about his ability to filibuster, and the deputy attorney general interjected to say he had not been joking.

Rosenstein then gave a lengthy answer, as Harris’s time for questions ran out, without offering explicit testimony that he would offer written assurance of Mueller’s independence.

“So is that a no?” Harris said, as the chairman called on the next senator for questioning.

Photo: Sen. Kamala Harris (MSNBC)

John Lewis Accepts National Book Award

Image result for john lewis goodwin college

 

John Lewis Accepts National Book Award With Emotional Speech

As a teenager, the congressman wasn’t even allowed to get a library card because of his race.

Emily Tate Politics Intern, The Huffington Post 

In a powerful acceptance speech at the National Book Awards ceremony Wednesday night, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) recalled how far he had come to receive the honor.  “And I remember in 1956, when I was 16 years old, some of my brothers and sisters and cousins going down to the public library, trying to get library cards,” Lewis said, clutching his award. “And we were told that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds.”

Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination

Where the Public Stands on Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination

Two-thirds say employers should provide birth control in insurance plans, but public is split over same-sex wedding services and use of public bathrooms by transgender people

The U.S. public expresses a clear consensus on the contentious question of whether employers who have religious objections to contraception should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for their employees. Fully two-thirds of American adults say such businesses should be required to cover birth control as part of their employees’ insurance plans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, while just three-in-ten say businesses should be allowed to refuse to cover contraception for religious reasons.

When it comes to views about employer-provided birth control, services for same-sex weddings and use of public restrooms by transgender people, there are large differences between some religious groups.

Read more here.

Conference sends teams to Orlando to offer support, witness…

The Connecticut Conference sent two teams of first responders to Orlando, Florida, to offer care, support and public witness following the mass shooting that left 50 people dead and 53 wounded, most of them part of the gay Latino/a community. The C.A.R.E. (Church Awareness Response Effort) Team is made up of members of three New England Conferences, CTUCC, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The first team of responders, The Rev. Emily Heath of Exeter, NH, and Chris Breen, a seminarian from Cambridge, MA, arrived in Orlando on the morning of June 14th in time to join a gathering with national UCC staff, Florida Conference staff and Florida pastors.

A second team of first responders composed of Connecticut clergy went to Orlando on June 15.  They are: The Rev. Thea Racelis, pastor of the South Congregational Church of Middletown, The Rev. Jack Davidson, Associate Minister of the First Church of Christ Congregational in Redding, and The Rev. Mia Douglas, Director of Discipleship at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford.

Read more here  http://www.ctucc.org/news/20160614_orlando_teams.html

Mia DouglasEmily HeathJack DavidsonChris BreenThea Racelis

Labels like “Felon” Are an Unfair Life Sentence

Labels like “Felon” Are an Unfair Life Sentence

Lately, the Obama Administration and others on the local level have come to recognize that the words used to describe those who have offended against society, the vocabulary of incarceration, matter. The way we discuss people can interfere with their ability to reintegrate into society. The demands we place on them and the identity they are assigned often prevents them from acquiring employment and housing, two strong factors in preventing recidivism. Read more here.

 

 

Environmental Racism is in CT Too!

Environmental Racism

Humankind has so much become one family that we cannot ensure our own security unless we ensure the security of all others.” - Bertrand Russell, from Simple Prosperity

Why Is Environmental Racism an Issue of Faith?

People of faith are called to care for all of our neighbors, regardless of their race, their income level, or their life circumstances. Jesus taught us this behavior in the parable of the Good Samaritan. He was also a student of the Hebrew Scriptures where he learned to “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.” Jesus did not discriminate or separate people into artificial groups, but rather declared that the Kingdom of God is available to all of God’s children.

Read more HERE.

Lead Exposure Exposes Environmental Racism

by Alli Van Leer

Environmental Justice affirms the need for urban and rural ecological policies to clean up and rebuild our cities and rural areas in balance with nature, honoring the cultural integrity of all our communities, and provided fair access for all to the full range of resources. – 12thPrinciple of Environmental Justice, 1991

For over sixty years scientists, business leaders and government officials have been aware of the detrimental impact of childhood exposure to lead. In the 1970’s research by Herbert Needleman, MD and his team in exposed the effect of even a low dose of lead exposure during childhood. Needleman et al.’s paper, “Deficits in psychologic and classroom performance of children with elevated dentine lead levels” also shifted the focus from the somatic based health effects of lead to the physiological and cognitive effects.

Lead has historically been used in a wide array of industrial products, most importantly gasoline, paint and water piping. The process of removing lead from gasoline began in 1965 and was officially banned from on road vehicles in 1996. Lead was banned from the use of paint in 1978, though remains on the wall of buildings and houses painted prior to 1978. While lead is rarely used today in water piping it remains in many homes and city water lines (Gilbert, 2006).

Read more here.

“Toxic Communities” and the Fight for Environmental Justice

JAN 8, 2015
Dorceta Taylor.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SCHOOL OF NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT / CREATIVE COMMONS
Dorceta Taylor’s most recent book, Toxic Communities, takes a magnifying glass to the modern environmental justice movement. In it, she provides an in-depth analysis of some of the biggest environmental issues facing low-income and minority communities across the U.S.  Listen to the interview here.