KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What Does the "Funky Savior of Humanity Have on His Holy iPod?"

If columnist Mark Morford ever wants another career, he'd make a great preacher. He knows.

(And now, back to my monster work deadline. Shhh!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I Have a Dream . . .

. . . and it's remarkably like Peter Fallon's.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Ratzinger Wanted Priestly Pedophilia Kept Secret

Thanks to KL, who commented on "An Anti-Everything Choice," for the link to an article on instructions by Cardinal Joséph Ratzinger—now Pope Benedict—to keep pedophilia committed by Catholic priests away from public scrutiny. Not only is the UK'S Observer reporting this story but the Guerilla News Network, South Africa's Mail & Guardian Online, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Tapei Times are reporting it, too.

Keeping abuse of any kind secret is evil when you are not the victim who has been terrorized into staying silent. It serves to perpetuate the abuse and kills the spirit of the victim(s). I speak from experience—though I was physically and emotionally abused, not sexually abused. I can't see such an action by a leader in any religion as being something God wants, by any twist of the imagination. If Ratzinger–Benedict is a changed man, I want to see his actions show it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

An Anti-Everything Choice

I'm not Catholic, so the election of conservative German cardinal Joséph Ratzinger has no effect on how my church operates. But I'm human, so the prospect of Pope Benedict XVI has me worried.

The head of the Catholic Church has always had huge influence on world affairs through the attitudes he personally represents. Benedict will, I believe, have a negative influence on the world. He stands for unloving religion, religion that doesn't take real life into account. He stands for heading back to a more repressive, unforgiving past. And forgiving is what God is all about.

With Benedict at the helm, heaven help GLBT people, women, priests, nuns, Catholics who wanted a visionary leader, compassion, open hearts and open discussion of issues . . .

Get Over It Already

A good many Americans have never figured out what women's breasts are for. They've made breasts into sex objects, things to be hidden yet flaunted, bound and pushed into unrealistic shapes, used to sell cars and lifestyles. So these same Americans raise a stink whenever women put their breasts to proper use in—gasp!—public.

Breasts are for feeding babies and children. They house the mammary glands, organs that, in an amazing feat of engineering, don't become fully operational until they're needed by the owner's offspring. The milk they produce meets all the nutritional needs of an infant for as long as a year and provides astounding mental and physical benefits that can last a lifetime:

Women who breast-feed their children have a lower risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis. And for you economists, breast-feeding saves mucho bucks.

So with all these wonderful benefits to breast-feeding, why the attempts to shame women who do what nature intended? It's an odd juxtaposition of puritanical demonization of the human body and oversexualization of it. Thrown into the mix are the big bucks spent by makers of infant formulas, who'd have us all believe that breast-feeding is time-consuming (ever had to clean baby bottles and prep formula?) and ties women down (hey—breasts are the ultimate portable containers!).

I'm perimenopausal and have just finished my twenty-second year of breast-feeding children off and on: my daughter for 3 months, my first son for 3.5 years, and my second son for 3.5 years (he's just about weaned). My daughter would've gotten a lot more breast-feeding if I hadn't been young enough to be really sensitive to our society's shaming.

Breast-feeding a child isn't a sexual event; it's lunch, for goodness' sake! It's breakfast and dinner and "I need comfort" and "I'm sick" and "I'm sleepy" and "I'm still your baby." Would you make an adult go eat his or her lunch out of your sight because you found it shameful? No? Then why make a child do so?

Get over it already!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Running Low on RAM

This week, I haven't much brain power to spare for writing. I'm learning new procedures for one of my freelance editing gigs, and that's got me running low on RAM. I'll be back as soon as I can.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

One Man's Courage

This week, a gay man stood up to his bigoted hometown. Daniel Lippold has more courage in his typing fingers than most of us have in our entire being.

Bigotry Disguised as Religion

Why can't more adults be like their own teenagers, accepting people for who they are?

Today is the Day of Silence, "a project of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), . . . a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment—in effect, the silencing—experienced by LGBT students and their allies." Wonderful!

Then along comes a conservative Christian legal group called the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF; "Defending Our First Liberty"), spearheading an event for tomorrow called Day of Truth, in which student participants will pass out T-shirts and cards saying that they don't condone "detrimental personal and social behavior." ADF calls this an opportunity to "counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda" and express "an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective."

"Agenda"? I guess you could call wanting the same basic human rights as everyone else an agenda. But I'd call it a fight for justice.

The Day of Silence kids have it right.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Letter from the President

To my amazement, George took the time—or at least an assistant of his took the time—to send a form letter in reply to my son's "please stop the war" letter about :

Dear Neil:

Thank you for sharing your views and suggestions. I always enjoy hearing from young Americans.

As you continue your studies, I hope you will strive to learn something new every day. You can read more about issues that interest you, current events, and the history of our country by visiting your library or by logging onto the White House websites, www.whitehousekids.gov and http://www.whitehouse.gov/. I also encourage you to set high goals, study hard, and help others in need. Kindness to others and dedication to your schoolwork can strengthen your community and our Nation.

Mrs. Bush and I send our best wishes. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.

George W. Bush

I'll be sitting my 10-year-old down for a lesson in how to detect hypocrisy. Then he can hone his hand–eye coordination by throwing darts at the photo of George and Laura that came with the letter.

Stabbing the World in the Back

In his first term, George W. slapped the around so much that even an ostrich at a beach would have realized that he has no use for the U.N. unless it’s doing his bidding.

In his second term, however, he’s been courting the U.N. and European nations with fake friendship. If he so wants to work with the U.N. now instead of against it, why ever does he want John , undersecretary of state for arms control, to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.?

Bolton is a conservative’s conservative who served Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He’s said he thinks little of international treaties and international law: “It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States.” If this is how Dubya shows his desire for friendship with the U.N., what will he do to indicate his dislike of an organization? Oh, yeah—he’ll call it part of the axis of evil.

There have been accusations that Bolton tried to intimidate intelligence officials whom the Bush camp thought were soft on Cuba. The man has no diplomacy skills; he’s as blunt as a tire iron. He’s an out-and-out hawk. Here’s a frightening profile of him from the International Relations Center. The New York Times reports that “former government officials have accused Mr. Bolton of improperly circumventing State Department channels to gain access to confidential sensitive intelligence reports” and that “there have been accusations that Mr. Bolton has sought to remove dissenters from their posts or bar them from meetings called to discuss policies. A senior Central Intelligence Agency official has become the second government official to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that he believes Mr. Bolton sought to remove him from his post after he complained that statements Mr. Bolton made in 2002 about a biological weapons program in Cuba did not reflect the views of intelligence agencies.”

At Diplomats Against Bolton, 67—yes, 67—former U.S. diplomats have signed a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opposing Bolton's nomination. As the site says, "of these signatories, 50 of 67 served under Republican administrations (28 served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, 22 in only Republican administrations), and 17 in only Democratic administrations."

Diplomats don't want him. Do you want this person in a position where he’s supposed to be working with other nations for world peace? I sure don’t. Get on the phone to your senators and representatives now!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Lonely Day

I miss my husband. (Here he is, lying on the bed he made for us just over 10 years ago.)

He’s at work today, though not on the clock. He’s a cabinetmaker, so work is a cabinet shop. He’s there working on the bunk beds he’s been building for our sons for months now. The shop there is so much bigger than ours here at home, and there’s no one else there—no coworkers and no family members—today to slow him down. I know why he has to be there, but I don’t have to like it.

He’s my best friend. I’d rather hear his corny jokes and his stories that I’ve already heard so many times than sit here and edit an article for a medical journal while our 3-year-old scatters toys on the floor all around me. He’s a silly man, a gentle man, a kind man, a daddy man, a sweetheart. Why didn’t we just buy bunk beds? We’ve been married almost 12 years, and I still want to be around him all the time. Stupid bunk beds.

That's Exactly How I Feel

This article, sent to me by my friend Martha, explains exactly why I don't like the Iraq war. It's just so on the mark that nothing I can say would add to it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"Where Are the Good Christians?"

"Where are the good ?" columnist Mark Morford writes today in his SFGate.com article. Thank goodness somebody's noticed that all the antigay and Schiavo-must-live-forever Christians don't represent all Christians. We nonfanatical Christians don't make the news much, as Morford says, because we're busy working quietly for peace, justice, and an end to poverty and discrimination.

We're the ones working in soup kitchens.

We're the ones giving as much of our money as we can to tsunami relief efforts, to programs that provide job training, to peacemaking organizations, to the ACLU, to PFLAG.

We're going on a Midnight Run to give a meal and clothing and conversation to homeless people.

We're flying "Pray for Peace—Act for Peace" flags and marching in war protests.

We're writing to our senators and representatives and our president about illegal, immoral wars.

We're wearing "Another Presbyterian for " T-shirts and carrying "Another Christian for GLBT Rights" tote bags.

We're working behind the scenes with groups promoting GLBT equality.

We're blogging about justice.

We're too busy living God's word to bash people over the head with our Bibles. We're too busy trying to do what's right ourselves—because we know, as mere humans, that we don't know it all—to tell everybody else how they should live.

We won't stop until consenting adults can marry whichever other adult they want to marry.

We won't stop until all women in the world have the same rights as men.

We won't stop until everyone has plenty of food.

We won't stop until there is peace among all nations.

We won't stop until bigotry disappears.

We won't stop until the hatred is gone.

We won't stop. Ever.
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