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Tag: Supreme Court

Giving Senior Citizens Space to Feel

We’re in a time when a woman will be partaking in a conversation and the next thing you know what will come spilling out in an almost even tone is that time when her doctor raped her. It happened to me this morning. “Nancy, it was five years before I realized what he did to me was wrong.” **** On the evenings when I prepare a topic, or prompt, for my senior citizens’ writing group the next morning, my greatest challenge is to try to gauge the mood or mindset of my students. By this I mean that there...

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Politics, Fragility and the Divine

The other day I was on the PATH train between Newport and Grove Street, roughly a five-minute ride for those not familiar. A young man came into the car, said he was from North Carolina and struggling to feed his family, so he’d decided to share the gift God gave him, his voice. He proceeded to sing a Christian song. Absorbed in my own thoughts en route to a teaching gig, I barely looked up, but his rendition was lovely. When he was done, he bowed his head and said in prayer, “Dear Lord, I know I’m not the...

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A Tainted Pick, No Matter What

Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court tomorrow. Call me jaded, prescient, resigned, pessimistic, whatever. My prediction is based solely on history and my complete lack of faith in our Senate Judiciary Committee (and by extension, our Senate) as a body when it comes to issues of this nature. Maybe it’s because I’m 56 and I have seen the majority in that group show their disconnectedness to real America to the point of ad nauseum. But if it’s a glimmer of hope you want, here goes. They are going to pay a massive price for this. The...

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The Fallout of Party Hardy

A few years ago when a dear high school friend died, I took out my yearbook to reminisce a bit. One of the things that surprised me was how many times I saw a variation on this theme in what my classmates wrote: “To a girl who was at all the parties … ” It made me laugh. Like most, I did a lot of experimenting with alcohol in those days and it was easy to get into clubs because the legal drinking age was 18. So not only did we have house parties, we were sneaking into bars. In the context of the current national conversation around the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, those days keep coming back to me in a variety of ways and have me thinking: If I had been sexually assaulted back then (I wasn’t), would it now be assumed that I had been asking for it because I’d been drinking? I didn’t gather friends and gang up on anyone unsuspecting and violate their bodies or their dignity using my tipsy state as an excuse for bad behavior. And I certainly wasn’t a member of any club that encouraged the denigration of others as part of its code and/or admittance. While I certainly couldn’t recall dates and locations for every party I went to, I can tell you exactly where...

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A Baker at the Pearly Gates

A Christian named Jack who owns a bakery dies. He appears before God and St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. You know the ones. Big and imposing, gleaming metal against a backdrop of blue sky and clouds. Jack arrives, chest held high. He’s pumped. Jack: Hello, Lord. Hello, St. Peter. St. Peter: Welcome, Jack. We’re here to determine if you get to walk through these gates. Jack: I know. I’m ready! God: What kind of life have you lived, Jack? Jack: I am a Christian. I went to church every Sunday with my wife and kids. St. Peter (checking off a box on his clipboard): Wonderful. What else? Jack: Well, I’m sure you heard that I was at the forefront of maintaining America’s true values. When I was approached to bake a wedding cake for two men who were getting married, I turned away the business. I couldn’t condone this abomination. God (with furrowed brow): Come again? Jack: According to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. I felt that using my gift of baking to help celebrate that would make me a sinner, too. St. Peter (exchanging glances with God): Oh boy. Here we go again. Another one who didn’t get it. Jack: What do you mean? St. Peter: We’ve had a few florists and photographers come through here who said the same thing. They were trying to make...

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