sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 6, 2008

blue jay, kindnesses, and victory
posted by soe 6:09 pm

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. An errant leaf that resembles a parking ticket draws me down the road just as a blue jay soars past.

2. The waitress at the restaurant where we had dinner runs next door to break my 50 Euro note so I can leave her a tip. And a random stranger at the Montparnasse Metro station uses her card to open the turnstile when my suitcase gets stuck and refuses to budge.

3. Obama. Yes we can and yes we did. The days ahead are grave, but people needed to believe that their voices mattered — and this proved that they did.

Glad you’re having a good time! Be sure not to miss Sainte Chapelle and the Picasso museum. And if you find yourself with extra time somehow Saint Denis is very interesting, and refreshingly tourist free (though if you go on market day be prepared for some wrangling and shoving!) Glad to know you’re getting along with the French, I seriously don’t know where the stereotype about mean Parisians comes from.

Comment by Elspeth 11.07.08 @ 5:14 am

It’s bittersweet. As happy as I am that the nation elected Obama, I’m saddened that California (along with with Florida and Arizona) soiled her constitution by writing discrimination into it.

I’m saddened even more that minority groups, most notably African-Americans and Latinos were the strongest supporters of discrimination. You people have experienced this first hand. You should know better.

I had hoped that the wording “Eliminates the rights…” would mean something to people, that they would strike a chord of fundamental wrongness within people. I guess people aren’t inherently good.

Right from wrong has to be taught, and people are being taught by bad examples.

They wield religion as a weapon and an excuse. They violate more than one of Moses’ Ten Commandments. By making false claims about what the Bible says and what is God’s will, they are taking His name in vain. By spreading lies in their campaign to eliminate rights, they are bearing false witness. By the envy they show toward happy same-sex couples they demonstrate coveting their neighbors’ spouses. By eliminating rights, they steal.

People hear their pastors tell them to go forth and be hateful and they take this as God’s word, not stopping to think about the message Jesus gave them which was “love one another.” Remember that when the serpent told Eve about eating the fruit it seemed like a really good idea to her at the time, despite being the opposite of the one and only rule God had given her and Adam.

They claim this is about protecting marriage. You can’t protect something by attacking it – that’s insane.

They claim this is about 4000 years of tradition, but they aren’t (yet) removing other rights from other groups to really restore things to the way they were back when women were property and mixed races were taboo.

Let’s talk about the root definition of marriage. Civil marriage is a contract. Legally, a contract is between two persons over the age of 18 who are of sound mind.

At its core, a contract is a promise. Marriage is about vows – you stand before witnesses and pledge vows to one another.

Legislating your prejudices cannot undo those vows. Only the two people to made them can break them. All the legislation can do is make those people be treated differently than others under the law. That’s discrimination.

David and I made those promises to one another. No one but us can undo that.

No matter what an ignorant majority might say or do, my marriage remains.

If ending my marriage was really the goal, then I feel sad for you. That anyone would seek to do something so heinous announces to the world “this person has never truly known love.” A person who has known love – who has truly loved someone, who has been loved in return – such a person would know to celebrate love wherever it is found. It would be inconceivable to lash out at people who celebrate their love to hurt them by removing their rights, making them less equal.

So I weep for the pathetic souls who have never loved, and in their misery attack those who find it.

It would be easier if I could just hate those people back, wish them dead, and if my wish were granted live the rest of my life in peace free from their bigotry and ignorance.

I’m not nice enough for that. I wish those people find love, and then lose it. I wish them full understanding of what they have done and the people they have hurt, and knowledge that because they have tried to stand in the path of celebrating the love of others, that true love will always be forever out of their reach, and I want them to live always reminded of what they destroyed for themselves.

Comment by Grey Kitten 11.07.08 @ 6:28 am

Elspeth: Thanks for the recommendations. We’ll add them to our ever-growing list of things we’d like to do. Methinks we’re going to have to schedule another trip!

GK: You know how I feel about this subject and my silence on the matter is only due to a constraint on time before leaving and on the cost of the internet here in Europe. Expect a post on this topiic after we return to the States, and, in the meantime, consider a move east. Massachusetts or Connecticut (and, hopefully soon, D.C.) would welcome you and David with open arms.

Comment by soe 11.07.08 @ 6:00 pm

The idea of moving back east is bouncing around in my mind. Running away from 52.5% of the population won’t be the reason, though.

I spent this afternoon at the wedding of our friends Mike and Mary Ann. There were several guests there who had not yet learned that David and I ran off and eloped. One of them even said that Tuesday was a miserable night for him and if he could have traded the outcome of the presidential election for the outcome on Prop 8, he would have. I thanked him for the sentiment, and told him that I disagreed.

The passing of Prop 8 is a sad blow to equal rights and a horrible reflection of problems in society, but I am confident that equality will be restored. Eight years ago, prop 22 passed by more than 60%. Progress is slow, but it is happening. It makes me angry and disappointed that it is not happening faster, but the truth is that these things take time and hurt a lot along the way.

Losing the presidential race, however, would have been so much worse. The Republican party has changed – gone are the days when it stood for fiscal conservationism and laissez-faire government. It’s the home of the corrupt super-rich and pseudo-religious nutjobs. For America to have signed up for four more years of that would be devastating to the world. The current administration has shown exactly how much freedom can be lost when the Republicans are in charge.

Comment by Grey Kitten 11.09.08 @ 4:47 am