Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Odds and Sods - June is busting out all over edition

Left: Sacred Heart of Jesus (stained glass) from St Mary's, oldest parish in Greenville, SC.


Good News! The Blog Carnival for Progressive Christians is here at last:

The carnival for Progressive Christians came out of a conversation about frustration with the organized Christian church. As a Christian without a church, I am in a quandary about sacraments, worship, fellowship…all those things that happen in a church, and I am deeply conflicted about attitudes and behaviors I see within the organized church, attitudes that, in my opinion, do not reflect the mind of Christ. The Carnival is open to anyone, and is a safe place for queer/trans/non-normative folk.

Do you ever feel frustrated with Church? What do you do to keep in touch with God? Have you written about your experiences and how you deal with them? The theme for July is “Community”.
If this speaks to you, go submit an article.


One Good Reason I Oppose the Death Penalty:

There are INNOCENT PEOPLE on death row.

At left, Glen Edward Chapman, who spent 14 years in prison, a good deal of that time on North Carolina’s death row. He was convicted of two murders in Hickory, NC, in 1994. Nelda Holder reports in Mountain Xpress:

That conviction, however, was reversed in 2008, due to diligent work by a legal team [see “Sprung” in the previous week’s Mountain Xpress] that has just been announced as winners of the WNC American Civil Liberties Union’s 2008 Evan Mahaney Champion of Civil Liberties Award, which they will receive on June 7.

Marion attorney Frank Goldsmith and Chapel Hill attorney Jessica Leaven share the award spotlight with mitigation specialist Pamela Laughon — a psychology professor at UNCA who brought student volunteers into the research — as well as Asheville-based private investigator Lenora Topp. The case for Chapman’s release was built on a series of legal missteps uncovered by the team, including evidence never submitted in his original trial and a confession by another person.
Chapman is the 128th death-row inmate to be exonerated and freed, nationally, since 1973, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.

For more information, see also the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Photo of Chapman from Mountain Xpress.


I first heard Sean Costello's music only quite recently. He was a prodigy, releasing his first album at the age of 17. And now he has left us, already, only one day before his 29th birthday.

So, so young.

House of Blues Radio Hour fans may have heard the musical eulogy given by Elwood on the weekly radio show. The official cause of death isn't listed online, and Elwood only mentioned that Debbie Smith, Sean's mother, has set up the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research, with instructions on Sean's website about how to donate:

The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research
c/o BB&T
3620 Tramore Pointe Parkway
Austell, Georgia 30106.

Such requests usually signal a death from substance abuse and/or suicide, and my deepest condolences go out to Ms. Smith. The loss of one so young, so talented, is just wrenching.

Yall might contribute if you can.



JoJo gives us great photos (and a guided tour) of the Edward Gorey house in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. G is for George, smothered under a rug/H is for Hector, done in by a thug. I'd love to visit the house on Halloween!

The latest asshole to storm Blogdonia is one Rachel Moss, who tried to be Ann Coulter and (of course) pissed everybody off. And then, the whole thing mushroomed when other rightwingnut partisans jumped in. It's quite instructive to read about how these things get out of hand; a study in Blogdonia-swarms, as well as anonymous racist baiting, all spiced up with hatred of fat and transgendered people.

Now, poor Rachel Moss is hysterical and probably in hiding. (Stay there, okay?)


And finally, the best for last! From Axinar's, comes one Harriet Christian (no relation to my man Ted, don't think!) who is giving it to us straight:

Tell us how you really feel!


JoJo said...

Wow, thanks for the nod, Daisy!! I'd like to go back to Gorey's house next year and try to find all 26 of the Gashlycrumb Tinies.

I'm glad that there's a movement by the progressive Christian community, to be more all-inclusive and tolerant. It's about time. The nutjobs (read: Fred Phelps) really paint all truly good hearted, open and affirming Christians a bad name.

a very public sociologist said...

Thought not religious myself its good to see progressive Christians get together. The right have had the run of American churches for too long!

white rabbit said...

Bit of a charm school dropout, our Harriet...

Aishwarya said...

Heh. There's recently been a rather high profile double murder here. A 15 year old girl was found dead in her bed by her parents. The police were called. They decided (of course, heh) that the domestic help was the villain...except then he was found dead on the terrace (not by the police, they didn't bother to check up there) and that left him out of it. Now they have arrested the dad and (on the basis of no evidence that they're willing to show the public) decided that the dad was having an affair with someone else, the daughter knew about it, the daughter was having an affair with the domestic help (apparently these are supposed to both be motives for the father to have killed her) and they've released her chat transcripts to the press to prove that she flirted with boys and was therefore promiscuous. Between then the police and media have created this whole big circus. Now the incompetence of the police is being questioned (how do you go to a house where a murder has been committed and utterly fail to notice a second dead body?), but only because the people they've arrested are upper middle class. If the servant hadn't been killed as well he'd have been arrested and tried for murder and of course no public outcry would have occurred. (Actually, public lynching is more likely. The Indian middle-class has had a surfeit of murdered pretty girls to fetishize in the last couple of years).
And that's why *I* am against the death penalty, anyway.

(Sorry for ranting in your comments space!)

I have long wished to teach some child the alphabet from The Gashlycrumb Tinies and what effects this might have on his/her later life. This is a bad idea, yes?

Vanessa said...

That lady reminded me of my mom...

Sinjin von Hoogstraaten said...

Couldn't agree more about the death penalty...

but do your words "The latest asshole to storm Blogdonia" reflect the mind of Christ?

lynn said...

I would like to visit his house, too. Never got there!

I think it is important that Christians remind people that there is diversity- some people forget that and lump everyone together when they generalize.

And the Moss thing? I am glad that the bloggers are quick to spread these actions around.

Daisy said...

but do your words "The latest asshole to storm Blogdonia" reflect the mind of Christ?

I don't presume to know the mind of Christ, and I am amazed anyone seriously does. I'm Catholic, and we have committees to deal with all of that stuff. You'll have to ask the Magisterium! (I hear it can be pretty rough to schedule an appointment, though.)

I didn't condemn Rachel Moss to hell and do not judge her soul or anyone else's. I judge her ACTS, as a jury similarly judges ACTS, and I say: guilty of assholism.

(And I'm probably not going to contribute to the blog carnival, if it makes you feel any better. I was doing the commercial for friends of mine who are organizing it.)

white rabbit said...

Random thought - one of Oscar Wilde's plans when sent to Reading gaol in disgrace was to convert the prison chaplains to Christianity...

Not sure how he got on.

Lady S said...

As I can't seem to trackback - Thanks for the info on Edward Gorey!