The Top 10 Tradition

We would be remiss to end this month of exploring tradition without addressing the “Top Ten” tradition. As 2013 comes to an end we all want to look back at what the year has held. We have selected ten posts, not because they are the best, or the most popular, but because they have represented some important moments from 2013. Even though we have only selected ten, (hey! it’s tradition!), the top thing to remember from 2013 that everyone’s journey is special and filled with wisdom, love …and lint.

  1. A Crazy World — A beautiful post about life and loss in war-torn Syria
  2. Mosaic — An artistic representation of the beauty and the diversity of humanity
  3. Eating our Values — A post about living one’s values through what one chooses to eat
  4. Creating Spirituality — A poignant post about religion, creativity and spiritual experiences
  5. In Defense of Prayer — A story about grief, confusion, prayer and atheism
  6. Doomsday for DOMA — A post that marks the end of the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States
  7. Heifer International and My Brother’s Gifts —  A sweet post about keeping a loved one’s spirit alive
  8. Manu Temple — A post from Jenni Taylor about a beautiful exchange in India
  9. Strangers and Angels — a post from Autumn Elizabeth about a beautiful exchange in Chicago
  10. The Proverbial Women —  the post that started it all…
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Straight Lines Move Around Me

Today we have another reaction to the DOMA decision by the United States Supreme Court. Brittany, a masculine-of-center lesbian poet with a background in psychology, shares her perspective on the events through poetry that sings like a hymn, uplifts like a prayer, and breathes like a meditation. The beauty of her words gives us all some wisdom and love upon which we can focus. 

straight lines move around me
unphased,
though in my heart
i feel so much has changed,
so much progress has been made
so much is left to attain
yet to stiff lines
this is another ordinary day
another hustle bustle
through which they must work,
while the air i breathe
has turned vibrant
vivid rainbow hues abound
cacophony has turned to music
my feet move lightly
bearing no heavy load,
my shoulders have dropped
the dead weight of despondency
as they rose so high
in pride with new purpose
turning to face forward
with unobstructed momentum
closer to making manifest
what,
as inherently right,
should not even have to happen

Uncomfortable? Please Don’t Be.

Today Jenni offers us another perspective on the recent political events in the United States, and adds a plea for wisdom and love in our treatment of all people, and faith in our belief in God.

By: Jenni Taylor

Prop 8 has been shut down, married gay couples will now have legal rights, and abortion clinics will remain open in Texas for the time being.

Some of you out there are freaking out a little. Maybe even a lot.

This post is for you.

I want to say, I love you. To my family and friends that have been struggling with the moral implications of these decisions, I respect and love you so much for wanting to do what is right and hold to your convictions. Abortion and gay marriage have been the hot moral topics for a long time now, and with these decisions in the past few days, I understand why your head is spinning.

But if you are uncomfortable, please don’t be.

If there’s anything I know, it’s that God’s fingerprints are prints of love. We see them in the stars, in hugs, in families, in loving relationships. Trust with me that his fingerprints are all over the place right now, giving purpose, life and love to everything he touches. He touched you, didn’t he?

A wise person once told me, “Love God. Love people.” In the chaos of trying to know what is wrong and what is right, I go back to those solid wise words, and the world isn’t such a confusing place after all. To me, the beauty of all these recent politics is that we are one step closer to a life with less fear and more love, a life where loving people and teaching others to love people just got easier.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 35, 37-39

Doomsday for DOMA

As citizens of the United States, both Jenni and Autumn are very aware of the two major decision issued by the Supreme Court of the United States today. For those of you who are less familiar, it goes something like this… The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, was unconstitutional and therefore must be overturned. The Supreme Court of the United States also ruled on California’s Proposition 8, in short, that same-sex marriage is still legal in the state of California. Currently there 12 of the 50 states in the United States allow same-sex marriage. Many places of worship are now able to offer all the people of their congregation federal rights with their marriage blessings. 

We will be posting several different perspectives on these rulings (including yours if you want to submit)  in the coming days and weeks. We look forward to hearing from people world-wide on these historic decisions, but as always, hateful speech will not be tolerated, diversity of opinion, however, is always welcome.  Here to kick us off with his perspective on today’s events is Nate Litz, a good Jewish boy from Saint Louis, Missouri.

Today’s Supreme Court of the United States rulings on California’s Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act are a true victory for not only LGBTQ rights but also basic Human rights.  I hope that these progressive rulings and the media coverage of them has brought to light the mistreatment of minority groups in America. Unfortunately, a good deal of this mistreatment has been under the disguise of religion. I think that using religion as a way to demonize any group of people is absurd.  I believe religion in its simplest form is about love and gratitude. It is about being thankful for the lives we live (where, how, with whom) and being thankful to the deity (whatever that may be) that provided life and love for us.  By discriminating against those with whom we disagree, we bastardize that love.  We as a culture, a society, and a world must ALL work together to better ourselves and the nations in which we live.  Congratulations to those who fought tooth and nail for this victory.  Today is a day to celebrate.