Sunday, May 31, 2009

DAY 14: DADT Update

An estimated 3,000 activists rallied in California's heartland yesterday for the Meet In The Middle 4 Equality event, which was preceded by a 14-mile march from the symbolically chosen town of Selma. I wish I could have been with them. Try though as I did, I could not arrange transportation. Anyway, from what I hear, it was an exciting day as thousands rallied in Fresno aiming to persuade California’s conservative heartland to support same-sex marriage rights. This was not an event to end Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, but I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about it anyway. By the way, Lt. Dan Choi (pictured above) was among the many speakers.

The Reverend Eric Lee, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, likened yesterday's march to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. "They walked 51 miles. We walked 15 miles. The pain that is in my feet, in my knees and in my back is nothing compared to the pain of injustice that you are going through right now," he said. "It does not compare to the discrimination that you are facing and I will walk another 15 miles and another 15 miles until we have marriage equality."

Choi and Lee were not the only speakers. Christine Chavez, granddaughter of United Farm Workers' Union Cesar Chavez, also spoke to the crowd, offering support. Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black spoke too, as did actor Eric McCormick of Will and Grace.

China Daily has coverage HERE and you can also check out your favorite lgbt papers including the BAR.

Before I close my Sunday post I want to assure you that DADT is still very important to me. There is not news every single day though, so some of these entries may be more general in nature. The US House and Senate are in recess for Memorial Day Week, May 25-29. Now is the time to ask your congressional representatives to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act. Write or visit your Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283) which repeals the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and allows gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. So far 141 co-sponsors have been signed up, but more are needed in order to have a real shot at passing the law this session.
If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, ask him/her how we can help make this legislation a priority. It was Daniel Choi’s coming out that really inspired me, and I continue to watch his numerous contributions to our struggle. Help us!

A few days ago at a rally folloing the California Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop 8, Dan was shared a love poem in Arabic and then translated it in to English:

You are free
You are free in front of the noon day sun
You are free before the moon and you are free before the stars
And you are free when there is no sun
You are free when there is no moon and there’s not a single star
But you are a slave; you are a slave to the one you love because you love him
And you are a slave to the one you love because he loves you back

He said the author wrote this because, “LOVE IS WORTH IT.” It is indeed Daniel. It is indeed!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

DAY 13: DADT Update

As you know we have been writing here about Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell for a couple of weeks now. There have been little flashes of news, but nothing major yet. Don’t give up though. Good things sometimes take time!

We told you a little about Lt. Dan Choi’s appearances Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. On Wednesday he defied the orders of dozens of crowd control police and stepped into the “no protest zone” street to ceremoniously salute (pictured, above) his Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, who was at a star-studded fundraiser at the posh Beverly Hilton Hotel. Courage. That’s what Choi is made of!

I’m not sure if I have mentioned it here yet, but Lt. Choi will also be part of the Knights Out contingent in the Pride Parade here in San Francisco at the end of next month. The group of West Point alumni recently came out as gay. Lt. Choi has been very busy since he came out on national television back in March. I think he has put the spotlight back on DADT though and on the President, and hopefully there will actually be some action – soon!

By the way, Knights Out has a website and I urge you to take a look:

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 29, 2009

DAY 12: DADT Update

President Barack Obama's campaign promise to scrap the military's "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy gave Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach hope. Now the aviator is wondering if the president will deliver in time to save his 18-year Air Force career. Lt. Dan Choi is wondering too. So am I. How many days has it been so far? The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group seeking equal treatment of gays in the military, estimates that more than 200 service members have been discharged under "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" since Obama was sworn into office in January.

At yesterday's White House Press Briefing, Robert Gibbs was asked, once again about "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" at the top of the briefing, and again said that the President was "working with the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon and others to bring about a change in that policy." A Politics Daily reporter then asked why the president wouldn't put a moratorium on discharges if he truly thinks the policy runs counter to our national interests. "The president and legal team here believe that in order to have a durable solution to this, legislation is the only way to go," Gibbs said.

Folks, we need to keep speaking up! If you did not write to the President, Vice President, Speaker Pelosi, your senators and others, do it now!

Dan Choi will be walking from Selma to Fresno tomorrow from 8am to 1pm, then giving a speech on "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" at the "MEET IN THE MIDDLE FOR EQUALITY" events. Be sure to stop by and say hi to Dan if you're in the area and let him know you support him!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

DAY 11: DADT Update

Lt. Dan Choi, an Arabic-speaking specialist dismissed through the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy, commented on Proposition 8 yesterday, outside the Beverly Hills hotel, where President Barack Obama attended a benefit dinner last night. Dan had spoken at several rallies on Tuesday as well. (Does he get any sleep?)

Last night was the most recent occasion to ask the President if he is going to make good on his promise to end DADT. Will we soon have an answer? Stay tuned folks!

This might also be a good time for me to remind you of what Mr. Obama had to say when he was running for President. This is his open letter to the lgbt community:

I'm running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all - a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It's wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans.Equality is a moral imperative. That's why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I co-sponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples - whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives.We also need a president who's willing to confront the stigma - too often tied to homophobia - that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president. That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones - and that's what I've done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign - from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DAY 10: DADT Update

Wearing a shirt that said "Don't Hide," Lt Dan Choi did yesterday just what he has been doing all along - speaking the truth. He was very visible at several Day of Decision events following the disappointing announcement by the California Supreme Court. Dan wasn't just talking about Don't Ask/Don't Tell though. He let everyone know he is for equal rights for everyone and that include making same-sex marriage legal once again. Rallies in East LA, West Hollywood and Hollywood weren't all that Dan was doing either. I'm told he was also preparing to speak to the President who will be in LA today. Choi is expected to ask Obama to respond to a petition signed by roughly 136,000 people to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and not to fire Lt. Choi.

Have you signed the petition yet folks? You can still add your name! You can also let your senator and representative know how you feel. Send them an email or write them a letter. Urge your friends to do the same. Just as with the battle to legalize gay marriage, we cannot take anything for granted! Speak up! Let Dan Choi and the others know you stand with them.

Despite overtures from the White House about crafting legislation to end the military's controversial "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy though, the Pentagon said yesterday it has no plans to repeal the current measure. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the military has had only initial discussions with the White House about whether gay troops should be allowed to openly serve and that they have not asked for the 1993 policy to be scrapped. I'll be very interested in what the President has to say today!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: I am still a second class citizen!

THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT HAS JUST ANNOUNCED THAT I CONTINUE TO BE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN! That isn't exactly the wording they used of course. What happened was they affirmed Proposition 8 - Same-sex marriage in California is prohibited by the state's constitution, though existing same-sex marriages solemnized before the passage of Prop 8 will continue to be valid.

I urge you to participate in your local Day of Decision events this evening, and invite everyone you know to do the same. A fairly comprehensive list of events all over the country can be found at I am not sure if Lt. Choi is attending any of these events or if his partner Matthew is in California with him. Lt. Choi is expected to participate in two events this weekend: in Fresno on Saturday and Orange County on Sunday. Both are general gay rights events, not DADT specific (but will no doubt have a large Prop 8 color in the wake of today's decision).

DAY 9: DADT Update

Here it is Tuesday morning and in addition to watching for news concerning DADT, the world is watching to see what the California Supreme Court is going to say about Proposition 8. Will it be upheld? In a few hours we will know.

Regardless of what happens, we must stay strong and we must keep our diginity. Let the other folks act like jerks. Lately I have pointed a lot to Lt. Dan Choi, but once again it is appropriate. Remember the dignity with which he has carried himself? Let us all continue to follow his example. Hopefully we will all soon be equal, both on the battlefield and in the wedding chapel.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 8: DADT Update

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May each year. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates American men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

We know the names of those of have died, but in most cases we don't know there sexual orientation. Normally it shouldn't even matter, but there HAVE been gay men and women in the US military who have been in harms way and some of them have died in battle. Today, as we work for an end to the "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy, let us remember all the contributions that there have been by our sisters and brothers who happen to be gay, lesbian or bisexual.

DADT is not just something that concerns those who are in the military. We are speaking of basic human rights. Please join me in working to see that it is ended and that ALL are treated fairly. And on this Memorial Day, let us give thanks for the courage of Lt. Choi who go tme started here - for his great courage in coming out and for all of the other men and women who have bravely come out. Let is remember our fallen men and women, INCLUDING those who happen to be gay.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

DAY 7: DADT Update

I'm not sure how many people are reading this or if any of you have been moved to action - it would be lovely to receive you emails: or you can simply leave a comment here in the blog. There won't necessarily be big news here every day. I wasn't expecting that.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said recently that if the ban were lifted, it would be "difficult" for the military to restructure its units to accommodate gays. The suggestion is that even if it were to happen, it would take time to implement. Also, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama recognized that the current practice of banning gays from the military, while leaving an estimated 65,000 to serve as long as they don't disclose their homosexuality, "isn't working for our national interests." But change requires "more than the snapping of one's fingers," Gibbs said, explaining that Obama considers congressional action to repeal the ban the best way of ensuring fundamental change.

By the way, since 1994, more than 12,500 men and women have been discharged from the armed forces for being gay, including nearly 800 "mission-critical specialists" such as Lt. Dan Choi, who go me started on this daily effort. Oh and by the way, the first Army Federal Recognition Retention hearing is scheduled for June 9th. More details when they become available. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen will appear later today on the ABC news program "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and is likely to be asked some tough questions - tune in!

Also want to remind you that tomorrow is Memorial Day and I hope you will remember all of our military, including our lgbt in uniform.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

DAY 6: End DADT Watch

Despite the many press conferences and nationwide addresses that our President has held, Obama has been largely silent on the stories of Lt. Dan Choi and Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach. He did indeed write that note note to Second Lieutenant Sandy Tsao, but has he written to members of Congress? Has he stood up and said this policy needs to go NOW? Well, no he hasn't. Will he do anything? Well he made a campaign promise and he says he intends to keep in. In his note to Lt Tsao he said he needs time and that the Congress needs to do the big task. It seems to me that now would be a good time for him to be talking to the Vice President and the Speaker and ranking members of both houses.

What can you do? Well the answer is the same as it was when we began writing about this last Monday. Be informed. Spread the word. Let people know how you feel. Part of this is writing letters and sending emails. Last night I saw a young gentleman whom I first met last fall when we talked about Prop 8. This time I asked him if he knew who Dan Choi is. I also gave him the URL to this blog. He's the kind of guy who will do something, so I hope he does come here and read these words!

We CAN make a difference!

Friday, May 22, 2009

DADT Update

The White House insisted yesterday that officials are working to overturn a policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, pushing back against Pentagon assessments that such efforts were low priorities and Democratic activists' complaint of slow progress. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that President Barack Obama is committed to reversing the Clinton-era policy of "Don't ask/Don't tell." Congress would have to take action to change the policy. "Try as one may, a president can't simply whisk away standing law of the United States of America," Gibbs said. "But if you're going to change the policy, if it is the law of the land, you have to do it through an act of Congress."

Well yes, and no. There is still a lot the President can do on his own. The administration has drawn criticism from gay and lesbian activists for not moving quickly enough to repeal the policy. I have to agree. But now there ares some signs that he is doing something.

Earlier in the week Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the military has no plans to repeal the policy and that the White House had not asked for the 1993 policy to be scrapped.
Two days later, Gibbs said Morrell had backed off that position; Morrell released a statement hours later doing just that. "President Obama has been clear in his direction to Secretary (Robert) Gates and (Joint Chiefs) Chairman (Mike) Mullen that he is committed to repeal the 'Don't ask/Don't tell' policy. He has also been clear that he is committed to do it in a way that is least disruptive to our troops, especially given that they have been simultaneously waging two wars for six years now," Morrell said.

I'm not saying we should wait and see, but I will take a deep breath. In the mean time, have you told your senators and your congressperson how you feel? Have you sent a message to Mr. Obama? We can help move things along if we speak up!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm still looking for an end to DADT!

President Obama's campaign promise to end the ban on gays in the military - and the "Don't ask/Don't tell" policy that forces thousands of military personnel to stay in the closet - appears to be driven now by a strategy of "don't rush."The recent coming-out by dozens of gay West Point graduates, including Arabic language specialist Lt. Daniel Choi of Tustin, has spotlighted the conflicting policies and put pressure on Congress and the White House to make good on promises to repeal them. I have to admit (actually I believe I already have), that it was Daniel that woke me up to this in the first place.

A report issued last week by UC Santa Barbara's Palm Center research institute said Obama had the power to thwart the discharging of military personnel for their sexual orientation. Under the "stop-loss" provision, the President can issue executive orders to retain any soldier deemed necessary to the service in a time of national emergency, the report said. Also, the President could halt the work of Pentagon review panels that brand troops as gay and thus excluded from service, the report said. And Obama and his Defense secretary could revise discharge procedures, as allowed under the 1993 law banning gays in the military.

Could and will of course are not the same thing. Obama has been in office for four months now. Of course some argue that he has been busy with other things. Indeed he has, but I would think he is able to milti-task!

So, if you haven't already written to him, do so. Let he know what you think!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More on DADT

Well here we are at my third day of DADT postings. (Hopefully something good will come soon so you want have to hear the same subject from me day after day).

If you are just reading here for the first time, Don't ask, don't tell is the common term for the policy about homosexuality in the U.S. military mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654). Unless one of the exceptions from 10 U.S.C. § 654(b) applies, the policy prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because it "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability."

Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach is an F-15E aviator with nine air medals - and the next service member to be fired under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Last night, Fehrenbach appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show to share his discharge story, just like Lt. Choi did. Fehrenbach originally put off appealing his discharge in the hopes President Obama and Congress would overturn DADT. But because Congress and the Administration have not acted with any urgency, he is now challenging his discharge, fighting to serve his country and keep his retirement. It’s time for all of us to act! Tell the President what you think!

My posts started here because of Lt. Dan Choi. They will continue here until there is justice, not all for Dan but for all in the military. Mr. President: Don't Fire Lt. Choi!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

End DADT Now!

Just in case you missed our entry here yesterday, I want to update you. Lt. Dan Choi, originally from Orange County, California, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an Iraq War veteran. Last March he went on Rachel Maddow's show and spoke three truthful words: "I am gay." As a result Lt. Choi received a letter from the Army on April 23 discharging him for violating the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. He told Rachel Maddow the letter was "a slap in the face" to himself and the soldiers he as commanded and served with over the past decade. Lt. Choi is fighting. I want to help him and help all the others that serve in our country’s military. I invite you to help too!

The Courage Campaign has nearly 120,000 signatures on its "Don't Fire Dan Choi" petition and there is room for your signature as well. Go to to sign and to see a video. Also you can get one of those t-shirts I mentioned here yesterday - go to to order one. Plus you can tell your friends and you can write letters. I just might write only about DADT here in my blog, until it is repealed! What do you think?

By the way, Lt. Choi, who now lives in New York, will be coming to California a number of times in the month ahead. He will be a celebrity grand marshal in the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade on Sunday, June 28.

Monday, May 18, 2009

END Don't Ask/Don't Tell!

By saying three words to you today - "I am gay" - those three words are in violation of Title 10 of the U.S. code. It’s a code that is polluted by the people who want us to lie… it’s an immoral code that goes against every single thing that we were taught at West Point with our honor code.

A month and a half after Lt. Daniel Choi said those words on The Rachel Maddow Show, he received a letter formally kicking him out of the Army National Guard. Lt. Choi is a West Point grad, an Iraq war vet and Arabic translator, but none of that mattered to the Don't Ask Don't Tell folks in the Defense Department. My question is this: how many more people are we going to kick out of the military because of this ridiculous policy?

Choi is certainly not the first. But here's the thing - we now have a President who has said he opposes the policy and wants to see it ended. As Commander In Chief, he has the authority to do just that - end it! Will Obama keep his promise?

I just signed a Courage Campaign petition to President Obama urging him to do the right thing - to do what he said he would do. He can stop the discharge of Lt. Choi and other LGBT soldiers. You can sign the petition too and you can helo make a difference! The Courage Campaign will deliver the petition to the president -- that's why it is important that as many people as possible speak out right now. CLICK HERE is you are willing to sign too! You can also order a shirt if you like (the money will go to help end DADT) by clicking HERE. And tell your friends!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We plow the fields, and scatter

Today is Rogation Sunday. Beating the Bounds (pictured) is an ancient custom still observed in many churches in England. The priest of the parish with the leaders and the parochial officials headed a crowd of boys who, armed with green boughs, usually birch or willow, beat the parish boundary markers with them. Sometimes the boys were themselves whipped or even violently bumped on the boundary-stones to make them remember. Prayers were said for protection and blessings for the lands. We still say prayers for the land and we will be doing that at my parish today.

We plow the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land,but it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand;he sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,the breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around usare sent from heaven above,then thank the Lord, O thank the Lordfor all his love.

And so a happy Rogation Sunday to you all! (Oh yes and many thanks to Deacon Liz for all she has done and all I know you will be doing today)!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I hate the word goodbye

Sylvia Chacon. In San Francisco, everyone knows her. (pictured at the right) She has had quite a run on local radio. I wish I could say I listed to her every day, but her latest gig has been middays, and I'm busy working then. I rarely get to listen to Sylvia. Now I can't listen to her at all. Clear Channel has let her go. (An additional sad thing about this is the station is not going to have any of its own live talent, except for the morning program).

I can tell you that besides being a fine radio personality, Sylvia is also a great person. I know this for certain, because among the many things I have seen her do, she has also been a sponsor of mine in AIDS Walk.

Sylvia has been the midday DJ at Star 101 since 2004. Before that she had been at KFRC.

I won't say goodbye. I hate the word goodbye. Still I will miss hearing her voice and seeing her smiling face. Hopefully she'll have another Bay Area gig lined up real soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

If it's not one thing . . .

This one is from the if it's not one thing it's another file
(there have been several not so wonderful moments lately) -
I have received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service telling me that I owe them money! (what joy, huh?) It seems that in 2007 a company forgave a debt that I owed and that counts as income. That company reported it to the IRS and I owed tax - who knew? Anyway, this is the first I realized this. I'm really not a tax cheat. Problem is, I have to pay the tax with interest within 30 days or I will also have a penalty to pay! What other bad news is going to come my way?
If a company ever forgives a debt for you, know this: you are still going to pay!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Today on the corner where I work there was screaming - loud almost violent screaming. The person was saying "Repent! Read your Bibles! Don't go to hell with Gavin Newsom!" (Newsom is San Francisco's Mayor). The man would look directly at someone nearby and scream "Two men cannot marry! Two women cannot marry! Jesus only wants a man and a woman to marry!" At about this point he would shout a few more things and then repeat the entire message. Someone recognized the screamer and said he regularly does it on Market Street.

This is not the first person to say that Jesus does not want same-sex couples. He will most likely not be the last either. My problem with this is that of course Jesus did not say this. This is nothing from Jesus about same-sex unions anywhere in Scripture!

"Read your Bibles!" Perhaps that is what we should be shouting to them. One central theme in The Bible is love. I pray that the day will come when all truly can love!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

God Will Provide!

Some days are not as good as we would like. There are times when we just might want to give up. Dear friends, I have had a lot of days like those lately! Today was one of them. In the mail came a notice from the IRS that an error had been made in my 2007 tax return and that I owe $700 plus interest! As if that is not bad enough, my job is not what it used to be. I took a cut in pay a few months ago. I'm trying to save up some money so I can do something wonderful for my mom. Oh yeah and this cute kitty that I used to take care of occasionally is near death. Not a good day!

But here's what keeps me going: God

No matter how bad my day is - no matter what problems I may encounter, I simply remember that God will provide. God is always with me and all things are possible with God!

Think about it. Never give up folks. There is always reason to go forward. God is with us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I love food!

It should be no surprise to any of you that I love food - all kinds! I love to cook and I love to eat out and I really love getting together with family or friends over a meal. That may be one reason why I have mentioned the Grace Before Meals ministry here before. (by the way, check them out at if you haven't already).

Anyway, tonight I am attending a meeting at my church where I am part of the leadership (called the vestry). Each of us takes a turn bringing food for the group to eat and tonight is my turn. I'm preparing a cottage cheese casserole, which tastes much better than it sounds! I think I'll buy some melons and slice them up to serve as a side dish to.

That should be enough don't you think? After all, it's not a banquet, it's a meeting.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Church Camp

I was thinking the other day about church camp. When I was younger, I spent part of my summers at Beaver-Cross Conference Center (which sadly no longer exists) and I know many people go to a church camp each year. My mom has been going the past few years - yup, I said my mom, who is in her 80s. Church camp can be for all ages. In her case they do a senior citizens week at the end of the summer. Here in my own diocese there is something for everyone at Saint Dorothy's Rest.

Anyway, did you ever go? Have some great memories I bet! Some of mine are of the songs we sang. See if you can fill in the blanks of any of these:

"And if the devil doesn't like it he can sit on a ___, OUCH!"

"So rise and shine and give God the ____, _____. Rise and shine and give God the _____, ______. Rise and shine and give God the ____, _____ children of the Lord."

"It only takes a ______ to get a fire going."

"Lord I lift your name on high. Lord I love to sing your praises. I'm so glad you're in my life. I'm so glad you came to save us Jesus. You came from _____ to _____ to show the way."

"Deep and Wide, Deep and Wide, there's a ________ flowing deep and wide."

"Father _______ had many sons and many sons had Father ________. I am one of them and so are you, so let's just praise the Lord."

"Lord prepare me to be a __________. Pure and Holy, tried and true."

"Lord You are more precious than ____, Lord you are more costly than gold."

"Our God is an __________ God. He reigns, from Heaven above."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Today is the fifth Sunday of Easter. First of all I have to say I love all of Eastertide! It is quite possibly my favorite time of year. Fifth Sunday of Easter is not more special to me than the other days. Last Sunday (Good Shepherd Sunday) has always been an extra special day and I really like next week (Rogation Sunday). I love all of the Easter hymns though and the white and the flowers and I adore the Easter lillies!

Soon though, Easter will end. We'll have Pentecost and Trinity Sunday and then the long long green season!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Being with my bros

Saturdays I often spend the evening with my Franciscan brothers at San Damiano Friary here in San Francisco. (The picture is from a previous visit) There is delightful conversation, worship together - both Evensong and a mass, supper, more chat, and prayers before departing. I always leave feeling very happy and refreshed. Often I meet new folks and have made some good friends.

There are weeks when my parish has an event (such as the Latin Chant masses that I have written about here), but more and more I go and spend the evening with the friars. Tonight I will be going there for certain!

Friday, May 08, 2009


I decided to do a very tiny post today.

Do any of you have pets? My mom (whom I mentioned yesterday that I will be visiting) has two cats and two dogs in her house.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

On the road to Kingman

On the road to Kingman - sounds like a Bob Hope movie (and don't you dare say who is Bob Hope!) or a story from the Bible. Actually it's what I will be doing next month. Well actually I will be in the air flying to Vegas and there my mom and my sister will meet me and will also meet (in a seperate flight), my aunt. The four of us will then have our annual time together. Last year it was here in San Francisco. This year it was going to be in Florida where my aunt lives, but airfare was way high when we were originally making plans.

Anyway, we settled on again going to where my mom and sister are. Now, it still several weeks off, but I mention it because there might be a break in my posting here. (It will depend on computer availability). I'll let you know though.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What's wrong with Latin?

The picture to the right is the very same one I used on my first blog entry here last August when I spoke of the twice monthly Latin Chant mass at my parish church. We did one of those masses a few days ago and will do another one again on the 16th of this month. (That first post closed with these words "We will be doing it tonight at 5pm at 261 Fell Street and on the first and third Saturdays of every month, so if you're in the San Francisco area, look us up!")

Would you believe that a simple post like that would make people cry and others pound their fists? In an internet group I began several years ago for lgbt Christians, there was mention of Latin a few days ago and you would have thought the sky had opened up! There was fighting for days (both in the group and in private emails back and forth and some to me saying stop the madness!).

Is Latin a bad thing? Is anything that helps one concentrate on our Lord Jesus Christ and to meditate on Him and offer worship, is anything that aids in this bad? Please let me know why Latin fires people up so much.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Death by train

Yesterday a train conductor told me the horror that had befallen her yesterday (and several of her co-workers and numerous train passengers. As a train bound for San Francisco, going 90mph up the track, a woman quietly stepped onto those tracks and sat down crosslegged facing the oncoming locomotive. The engineer had no time to stop and the woman was instantly killed.

This is not the first such incident. Last year there were I believe a couple of dozen such suicides on the railroad just south of San Francisco. How horrible.

I mention this because I am concerned for those who witness this and those who may be permanently scared by this trauma. Please pray for them. Pray too for all who are so troubled that they think suicide is the answer. My friends, it is NEVER the answer!

God is the answer! By God and with God all things are possible! Thanks be to God!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Spreading the Good News

Have you ever seen church bulletins or church signboards, that list their "Mission Statement"? I can't quite figure that out. Didn't Jesus himself give us a Mission Statement? (The answer, is yes: The Great Commission).

Oh the picture to the right by the way is of me (on the far right) and others as we walked The Way of the Cross last month on Good Friday.

Jesus calls every Christian to step out in faith and spread the Good News. This is faith in action and people who obey this command change their spiritual lives forever! There are different ways of doing it. Maybe just frequent messages in a blog like this could be one way. Wherever we go though and whatever we do, every faithful Christian is compelled through obedience to share the Gospel. We don't need a special mission statement that we spend hours and hours writing and voting on. Jesus already gave us our prime directive.

Don't be afraid. It sounds big, but Jesus gives us all we need to do it! With the knowledge that Christ will be by your side, what can you do "to make disciples of all the nations"?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Good Shepherd

Since the 1979 prayerbook, the Fourth Sunday of Easter has been Good Shepherd Sunday (it was earlier before then) and it is a favorite of mine. Jesus' claim to be the "good shepherd" in Saint John's gospel is one that is well known - and so it should be. When we think of Him in these terms it brings all kinds of images to mind which recall the ways in which our Lord cares for us. If we're thinking very carefully at all when we read this, we are reminded of David's famous twenty-third Psalm in which God Himself is depicted in lovely ways as the shepherd of His people. In fact, there are plenty of other places in the Old Testament (particularly in the Psalms and the Prophets) where God is portrayed with this language. Perhaps most significantly are the promises which God makes through His prophets that, since no one else is worthy or able to assume the responsibility, He will Himself come and be His people's shepherd. In His care, His people will be safe, and they will be content.

With all this in mind as we hear Jesus' claim we cannot help but be struck by the significance of it. His claim is that He is God come to His people, as promised, to be their shepherd. He is the fulfiller of the long hopes of God's people. It is indeed a comforting message. Who could not like this wonderful Sunday?

And so in just a bit we will hear the familiar gospel passage and sing Psalm 23 and hymns like Shepherd of Souls Refresh and Bless, and The King of Love My Shepherd Is. And we will be reminded of the image of Jesus the Good Shepherd in the sermons we hear. And some of us will think of another shepherd reference from Scripture:

These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev.7:14b-17)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Another Saturday

Here it is - another Saturday! So what will I be doing when evening comes? How is this Saturday night going to be different? Do I have some hot date planned with the man of my dreams? (I wish). Actually I might just see a man I am very much interested in, but that will be at church. I'm going - as I usually do - to the Latin Chant mass at my parish. Afterward I will most likely join in the drinks and dinner group.

Nothing terribly unusual - just another Saturday!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Let us pray

SInce I spoke of favorite hymns and favorite verses from The Bible, it seems only fair that I should next speak of favorite prayers. (Hey did I do this once before? Can someone look back through my blog and see it there is a similar entry? Am I losing my mind?)

Anyway, some of you may make up your prayers off the top of your head. Some of you may read ones from books. Whichever is true for you, you still might have a favorite. Would youperhaps like to share it?

My favorite -

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.