You might’ve missed this – if you blink these days, it’s possible to miss TrumPutin declaring war on Eastasia or Eurasia or whatever – but the National Association of Evangelicals seems to be trying to mea culpa their support of TrumPutin.
They put out this very nice statement online and got a lot of people to sign on and took out ads with their very nice statement signed by very nice people in a bunch of newspapers and whatnot.
And, you know, they’re getting there.
They’re sorry for not loving their neighbor or standing up to unjust systems. They’re sorry for being xenophobic and not treating people who disagree with them “with dignity.”
Don’t get me wrong – they’re not all running out to get Black Lives Matter tattoos, but at least they’re beginning to recognize that they’ve done wrong.
They want to seek justice for the vulnerable, and preserve human rights, and promote peace, and pursue racial justice, and care for creation. Which all sounds great.
And their calls for racial reconciliation just might work. There’s nothing foundational to the evangelical movement that requires racism. They’ve often been very cozy bedfellows, but it’s not part of core doctrine – well, at least not recently, for most evangelical groups.
Notice what’s missing?
There’s nothing about ending sexism, creating gender equity, etc.
Nope – they’re all about strengthening marriages and protecting the sanctity of human life and freedom of conscience (well, their OWN freedom of conscience anyway, so don’t look for any favors or even respect for OUR human dignity, LGBTQ+ community).
That’s because sexism (per Kate Manne, the belief that women are inferior) and misogyny (the enforcement arm of that belief) are foundational and doctrinal. Toss them out, and the whole system collapses.
In evangelical movements, women are second class citizens and we always will be, because God wants it that way.
They put a fancy spin on it by calling it “Complementarianism.” Women aren’t inferior, it’s just that God ordained different roles for men and women, and they’re both equally valuable, dontchaknow.
It’s weird, though, how all the things that involve power and control and authority and making decisions just happen to fall into the men’s column, and all the shit work they don’t want to do just happens to fall into the women’s column. But just because the men have all the power, control, and decision-making authority, doesn’t make you “less than,” sweetheart, it makes you SPECIAL. (Yeah, that’s it – now go make me a sammich.)
Were you puzzled by that weird “Amy Coney Barrett submitting to her husband” thing from the Federalist? That’s what’s going on here. I’m not saying she does or doesn’t, I don’t know her, but this shit is still going on today, in 21st century America, for millions of women.
The thing is, you can’t fix this. There is no fixing it. The only way to end it is to trash the whole system of patriarchal religion (yes, I’m looking at you, too, OTHER Abrahamic religions) and start over.
I was reviewing my options for city council the other night.
(My very blue city supports a plethora of parties beyond just D and R, and, for reasons that are too long to go into here, we tend to have a lot of Independents running, too. So “straight Dem ticket” isn’t the automatic option here that it is in lots of places. And yet those lefty third parties haven’t ever gotten much traction even here, in a situation that is IDEALLY situated for them, which really makes one wonder about their viability, but I digress.)
One of the sources I was using was a voter guide put together by one of our local super-progressive groups. One of the questions they asked was: “Have you ever been a registered Republican?”
Which took me aback. Because my answer is “Yes.”
Now, before you get out the torches and pitchforks, let me point out that there’s a story here.
I was born into a fundamentalist christian family. For those who are unfamiliar, fundamentalists are to the RIGHT of evangelicals (yes, my parents later becoming evangelical was a move LEFT, as impossible as that sounds).
What does that look like?
There were no women in any positions of authority anywhere in my church or my fundamentalist private (shockingly sub-standard) christian school. No women deacons or elders, certainly no women MINISTERS, no women providing religious instruction to any male over the age of 12, and even very few women teachers in the school beyond elementary school.
Women weren’t even allowed to speak at church business meetings. If you were married and you had a question or a comment, your husband had to make it for you. Single? Widowed? You’re out of luck.
Speaking of teachers, and working women, while they didn’t FORBID women to work (not really sure how they would’ve enforced that in any case), it was definitely….frowned on, particularly for married women. As, in fact, was higher education for girls. And it was certainly NOT acceptable for a woman to work in anything other than traditionally gender-differentiated occupations: teacher, nurse, librarian, secretary, receptionist, child care, etc. Actually, not “etc.” – those were pretty much women’s only options.
Speaking of being single, it was also frowned on, and I distinctly recall the pity and disapproval the single women teachers in the elementary school faced from pretty much every single adult in the community, but especially their fellow women (internalized misogyny is a hell of a drug).
If your husband beat you and you went for pastoral counseling, the only advice you got was that it was your fault and you needed to be more submissive. That is not a joke or an exaggeration – that’s an exact quote.
If a boy or a man sexually assaulted or raped you, it was ALSO your fault for leading him on in some way, pretty much via the crime of being born in a female body. Your age, his age, relationship, circumstances, whatever – didn’t matter. Existing as a girl or woman in the world was enough to condemn you and absolve him, no matter what he did.
It expressed itself in less consequential ways, too, like girls and women never being allowed to wear pants unless playing sports. And then it had to be PANTS, not shorts, no matter what the sport or the season.
Basically, it was some Handmaid’s Tale shit, only without the kicky color-coordinated outfits.
Anyway, I got my first inkling that this was DEEPLY fucked up at the age of 12. But one does not extricate oneself from such a world overnight.
My parents, unusually for the community, did expect me to go to college (both were college graduates themselves, my dad first-gen in his family, and my mom very unusually for adult women the community), but OF COURSE it would have to be a christian college despite the high standardized test scores and graduating valedictorian that led to far better options courting me.
So I went to the most liberal christian college my parents would find acceptable, one where women and men were actually allowed to be alone together and even be in the same dorms (although not sharing rooms, bathrooms, or apartments, and no sleep overs); where the professors, at least in the humanities and social sciences, were from the (tiny) christian left; where weekly chapel was required (although I managed to scam my way out of it for 1 1/2 of my four years of college) but Sunday service attendance was not (which I subsequently realized and dropped after my first semester).
Did I register as a Republican at 18? Damn right I did. Was anything else even possible for me?
My four years in college and my wise and compassionate professors continued to open my eyes and nudge me left, and then I graduated, and I and my spouse moved to a different state so I could go to grad school.
Did I register as a Republican when I switched all my personal stuff to that state so I could qualify for that tasty in-state tuition? Yes. And I even voted for a Republican governor in my first election in the state.
But I also continued educating myself, particularly in that first year there while I waited to start grad school so I could qualify for that tasty in-state tuition (one year of state residency prior to beginning courses being another requirement), worked, and could read ANY DAMN THING I WANTED TO.
So I burned through the local library’s collection of civil rights and second wave feminist books, got active in the local Unitarian-Universalist church (at first for very Emile Durkheim type reasons, but then out of genuine commitment)…and changed my voter registration. To Democrat. And I haven’t looked back since.
What was the point of this trip down memory lane?
Litmus tests (or, if you prefer, leftist purity culture), and what a disaster they can be when dealing with real people.
If those folks in that super-progressive group knew I’d EVER registered as a Republican, would they even CARE about my story, or would they just cancel me outright?
Before you say: “Mrs Whatsit – who cares? So they don’t like you – they’re just people, you’re just a person, find a different group to hang with,” let me point out: I may run for office in this city someday. It’s definitely under consideration.
One of the “reasons” Hillary took UNENDING shit from the RoseBro left was because, before she could even register to vote, she was a “Goldwater Girl.” That didn’t last very long, and by the end of her four years at Wellesley, she was well on her way to being the feminist tiger and icon we all know and love.
We need to show each other a little grace, realize that life is long and sometimes complicated, that there is often more to the story than can be contained in a 30-second sound bite or 280 characters, and that maybe, just maybe, it’s actually a good thing, an honorable thing, to have to fight your way towards being “woke” (as much as I dislike that term) rather than just having it handed to you, unquestioningly, as part of your birthright.
And as I saw on Twitter not long ago (wish I’d actually captured the tweet so I could attribute properly): “If Florida were offered cake or a boot to the head, it would be 50.1% to 49.9% and have to go to a recount.”
Ah Florida, giving us all ulcers since (at least) 2000.
But in 2018, Florida OVERWHELMINGLY passed Amendment 4 to their state constitution. The amendment restored voting rights to people convicted of a felony who’d fulfilled all terms of their sentences, including any parole or probation.
Yes, prior to 2018, Florida permanently disenfranchised returning citizens, for all intents and purposes, since each person had to individually appeal to the governor, who pretty much always said no.
(That’s an over-simplification – Dem governor Charlie Crist had actually reformed Florida’s laws in 2007, but as soon as Republican Rick Scott was elected, he Jim Crowed the state right back up.)
This should’ve re-enfranchised about 1.4 million people, disproportionately Black folks.
Did you know that September is National Bourbon Heritage Month?
In the Before Times – not just before coronavirus, before TrumPutin – my spouse and I used to celebrate by having a least a little bourbon from our extensive collection every day in September.
Of course, one can no longer do that because one must remain clear-headed in order to resist, fight back, phone bank, text bank, postcard, protest, donate, etc., etc., etc.
Look, I know that one of the contributors to the disastrous 2016 election was that we all got complacent in the Obama years. Demographics were on our side, dontcha know, and we were about to usher in the Progressive Revolution because all the barriers to progress were, to be blunt, dying off.
Yeah, not so much.
Biden was not my first…second…third….fourth….choice. And the pandemic and climate change and racial injustice and a world-wide system of male supremacy and every other bad thing are not going to magically end just because we elect him in November (putting out the power of my positive thoughts into the universe). But I am DESPERATE for at least a few days IN A ROW where every fucking thing isn’t a goddamn disaster.
And I’m hopeful we’ll at least get that, if we can just keep pushing as hard as we can for the next 46 days.
Can’t wait to celebrate our victory and see you on the other side of November 3. I’ll be the one with my feet up in front of the fire, cat on lap, bourbon in hand, listening to Miles Davis, and finally, for at least a few minutes, resting.
Image above is the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, which you used to be able to get for about $70 a bottle and now is nearly unavailable and totally unaffordable when you can find it. Sigh. The good old days.
This weekend, a group of witches will be gathering virtually (we were supposed to be gathering in person, but, well, you know) to work magic to protect the election.
I can’t say much about the specifics of what we’ll be up to because that’s part of the deal.
But what I can say is this: please join us, if you’re able.
Focus on protecting the integrity of the election, and our democratic institutions, and on protecting yourself magically (now might be a good time to strengthen your wards, for instance) for the work we’ll all be doing in ALL the realms in the next 60 days.
As Hecate would say: “I shan’t be gone long; you come, too.”
Image found here (and you can buy it as a poster!)
Bad news for those of you who’ve come to enjoy my Friday takeovers of Hecate’s blog in the past few years: I’ll probably be writing a little less frequently over the next two months because, as of Monday, I am the campaign manager for one of our local city council candidates. (His previous campaign manager landed his dream job with the condition that he had to start immediately.)
He’s more of a Biden Dem, so he’s somewhat more moderate than I’d prefer, but it’s a great opportunity to learn more about a potential career change that’s been on my mind for a while – working on campaigns, potentially running myself, or looking at other options that are directly in politics, as opposed to just being a highly informed aficionado.
Yes, I might be sacrificing my amateur status in politics. But you know, with the Olympics postponed…
Anyway, it’s been an extremely hectic week – hey, let’s bring on a new campaign manager who wasn’t even actively involved with our campaign and, while she has MANY transferable skills, has never actually done this before 70 days before the election! – but, on the up side I was too busy to pay attention to the RNC shit show, so there’s that.
Anyway, I’ll pop in and post when I can, but wish me luck y’all! At a minimum, I’m sure this is going to be a wild ride, and who knows? It may be the start of a major career change.
In the meantime, pick a campaign (Swing Left, Emerge America, and EMILY’s List are great places to start), and volunteer, donate, and, most of all, MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!
Confession time: I ran as a Biden delegate for the DNC this year (well, actually, originally as a Warren delegate, and it would’ve been “Harris delegate” had she not dropped out before the process started) solely to prevent a repeat of the Berners’ rat-fucking from 2016.
As you may recall, whether out of ignorance of the process or a cynical desire to keep those $27 donations rolling in, St. Bernard of the Snows fed his minions a bunch of fairy tales heading into Philadelphia about how he could still be the nominee, which incited them to, among other things, BOO JOHN LEWIS AT HIS FINAL DNC (the shame of which memory I sincerely hope haunts them all FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES) while he sat there like a po-faced asshole for four solid days, rather than follow the classy (but of course) example Hillary had set in 2008 when, after a MUCH closer race with Obama, she made the motion to end the roll call when it came to New York and nominate Obama by acclaim, thus forfeiting all her delegates. No, St. Bernard needed the pathetic ego boost, both in 2016 and again this year, of holding every last one of his delegates in a death grip.
When it became apparent that there would NOT be a repeat this year – and notice St. Bernard was only able to graciously (to use Berners’ terminology) “bend the knee” when it was to another white man (and it wasn’t just Hillary, because remember he seriously considered primarying Obama in 2012) – I really didn’t care any more, so when I didn’t make the cut, I wasn’t exactly crushed, particularly once the convention itself had to be so radically re-imagined.
Which gets me to my point.
The convention was, I thought, remarkably – and surprisingly – effective, and affecting.
The thing about the energy of a convention is…the energy. They’re spectacles that are designed to fire up the folks who are going to go do the hard, unrelenting, sometimes boring, often thankless work of getting out the vote – ideally, that’s who state parties should be choosing as their delegates.
But this was not the year for partying, booze, and (no matter how fun it is to watch Bill Clinton react to them) balloon drops.
The “prime time” speeches – Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama (can that man give a speech or can that man give a speech?), and Joe Biden (plus many, many other Dem luminaries past and present, including nearly all* Biden’s primary opponents and I think basically all the women who were being vetted for VPOTUS, although it’s, of course, impossible to know for sure) – were serious, substantive, and not constructed for applause lines, appropriately reflecting the dangerous nature of our times and the gravity of the situation facing us this November.
The roll call was outstanding, showing the beautiful diversity of our country and of our “big tent” party.
I thought Eva Longoria, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Kerry Washington did outstanding work on the first three nights of hosting (I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but this was not really the time for an “Oh, I see – you got jokes” approach).
Tuesday night’s opening keynote, featuring nearly 20 rising party stars, would’ve ONLY worked in an all-video format.
I loved the fact that Wednesday night featured almost entirely women, plus Obama’s deeply sobering speech, and if you haven’t watched it, well, here it is:
All the speakers stressed Joe Biden’s empathy, experience, decency, and competence (which should be the BARE MINIMUM for ANY form of public service, and yet, here we are). As someone put it on Twitter: Biden has had so much taken from him and his humanity has never faltered, TrumPutin was given everything and he’s a sociopath.
And then on Thursday night, a night that featured a brave young man, Brayden Harrington, sharing his story of how Joe Biden’s kindness and understanding helped him with his stutter, too, a moving tribute to Joe’s beloved son Beau, and charming introductions from his kids and grandkids, Joe Biden, God love him, delivered what was probably the speech of his life.
We have SO MUCH work to do in the next 74 days, and, as President Obama reminded us:
…here’s the thing: no single American can fix this country alone. Not even a president. Democracy was never meant to be transactional — you give me your vote; I make everything better. It requires an active and informed citizenry. So I am also asking you to believe in your own ability — to embrace your own responsibility as citizens — to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure.
Because that’s what’s at stake right now. Our democracy.
Are you ready?
*The extremely notable exception was Julián Castro, and there was LOTS of harrumphing online in the past few days about how awful it was that he was snubbed. Turns out, he apparently did the snubbing because the speaker lineup wasn’t diverse enough for him and there were “no Native Americans, no Muslim Americans” and only three out of 35 prime time speakers were Latino. Two things: Deb Haaland, Jonathan Nez, and Khizr Khan would like a word, and how does his refusing to participate make the lineup MORE diverse and MORE Latino? I still think he’s one of the rising stars of the party, but his star just dimmed quite a bit in my view.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks after Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden introduced her as his running mate during a campaign event at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Confession time: I was always going to vote for whoever the Democrats nominated for president this year.
HOWEVER, after winnowing the MOST DIVERSE FIELD in history down to three septuagenarians, two dudes and a woman, and y’all ultimately picking Joe Biden, I was not exactly psyched.
Really? ANOTHER old white guy? When we could’ve had Kirsten Gillibrand? Or Julian Castro? Or Elizabeth Warren? Or Cory Booker?
Or Kamala Harris?
(Who was my first choice that I didn’t get to vote for, even in the primary, because she’d long since dropped out.)
Confession two: I also did not vote for Joe Biden in the primary.
So when Joe announced, this past Wednesday, that Kamala (or, as her step kids call her, “Momala,” and how sweet is that?) would be joining the ticket, I felt….joy, relief, sadness (that we haven’t spent the past 3 1/2 years with President Hillary, because I will go to my grave pissed that she wasn’t the first women to be POTUS), and, for the first time in a long time in this interminable primary season, EXCITEMENT.
I may not be super-jazzed to be RidinWithBiden, but I am DEFINITELY ForThePeopleWithKamala.
The racists – on the right and on the left – are going to come for her.
The misogynists – on the right and on the left (and there are A LOT of misogynists on the left) – are going to come for her.
We need to have her back, just like all the women who’d been vetted for Veep did in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.
We need to have each others’ backs, because the way people (and by “people” I mostly mean “white dudes”) came after Hillary’s supporters in 2016? Strap in, it’s coming around again.
Misogynoir is a hell of a drug.
81 days and counting (as of when I’m posting this).
That’s not long, and we have serious work to do, particularly with TrumPutin trying to kill the USPS in a desperate attempt not to have his ass handed to him in November and then go to jail, where he belongs, for the rest of his miserable life.
Write postcards and letters to voters to GOTV.
Text and phone bank to voters to GOTV.
Educate yourself about your options for voting safely in your location.
Talk to your friends and family about the importance of voting, about their options for voting safely, and about WHO to vote for.
Pick one or more down ballot races to support.
Get or make some yard signs and post them.
Donate, if you can.
If you pray, pray. If you work magic, work magic.
Keep hammering your elected representatives about the USPS situation.
As Hecate wrote earlier this week, we’ve just passed Lammas/Lughnasadh, which is “the first harvest, the beginning of our look towards the dark. Lughnasadh is the time of plenty, the time to gather in, the time to store what we have.”
When I was a kid, my dad planted a large vegetable garden each year, so August was the time the whole family pitched in to deal with the annual bounty of produce, furiously putting up the products of that garden for the coming months. Many summer afternoons were spent with my mom in a sweltering kitchen blanching green beans and packing them into freezer bags, carefully cleaning the canning jars in preparation for filling them with flash-blanched, shocked and peeled tomatoes and popping them into the bath of boiling water, stirring pectin into jam, and slicing and salting down cucumbers to draw off some of the water before dunking them in brine.
My tiny city yard doesn’t accommodate that, but this is a time of year for assessing. We’re 2 1/2 short months from the change of the witch’s year, which means it’s time to think about where you had planned to be, where you are, why that is (HELLO PANDEMIC) and what you want to do about that in the next 12 weeks or so.
Everyone’s harvest includes loss this year.
Some losses are huge and devastating: Loved ones dead of the pandemic. Lost jobs. Lost homes.
Some have lost rites of passage: graduations, baby showers, weddings, funerals.
Some have lost wages to furloughs and cut hours. Kids have lost academic progress and growth. We’ve all lost months to this odd suspended animation we’ve been living in since March.
It’s REALLY important to take time to mourn that, whether it’s something big, like a death or something small, like a long-anticipated milestone birthday party that got canceled.
And once you’ve given yourself the space to do that, think about what you can gather in as a result of this uncanny time-between-times.
Have you had the chance to reconnect with a spouse or partner in ways that the usual grind of day to day life has prevented for months…years…decades?
Have you been able to slow down and get your kids off the hamster wheel of activities and just let them be kids?
Have you been able to learn a skill? Or refresh an interest in an old hobby or passion you’d laid aside?
Have you cleaned out your garage, or a closet, or even a drawer, making some space for what’s next?
It’s been yet another awful week in a seemingly unending series of awful weeks.
We’re rapidly approaching 150,000 people in the US dead of the coronavirus. Not all of them were preventable, but many, many were, had the evil and incompetent TrumPutin administration not been asleep at the wheel since January. Of 2017.
Speaking of, Jared Kushner apparently intentionally tanked the US ability to fight the virus effectively because he felt it would be to TrumPutin’s political advantage to let Democrats die.
TrumPutin floated delaying the election. One, he can’t. Two, even Republicans who’ve rolled over for every other insane, unconstitutional, dysfunctional, bigoted, “tie the heroine to the train tracks” evil thing he’s wanted to do in the past 3 1/2 years spoke out. Three, even if he somehow succeeded, Nancy Pelosi would STILL become interim president on January 20, 2021.
TrumPutin appointee Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is ACTIVELY trying to destroy the US Postal Service mere months before the vast majority of us are going to need to cast mail ballots to avoid dying in order to vote.
Meanwhile, TrumPutin is trying to cast doubt on the entire election process and results, in the hope that when he loses BIGLY (as it were), which it’s becoming increasingly clear is likely to happen, his knuckle-dragging supporters will riot.
The feds are still snatching people off the streets in Portland, as TrumPutin actively and intentionally tries to start a race war. Reminder: the Portland protests were largely peaceful until TrumPutin sent in the brownshirts, who immediately proceeded to escalate.
Millions of children are going to have to start the 2020-21 school year at home because we couldn’t muster the will and public spirit to wear masks, wash our hands, and stay away from each other for a few months. Because virtual schooling went so well this past spring, with millions of kids without reliable internet access or access to necessary devices at home. They STILL lack internet access and devices. Money to help them? Nah. You’re on your own, kid.
(Oh, and those economically disadvantaged kids? Also more likely to have parents who are in hourly wage essential jobs who can’t stay home with them to help them. Money or a plan for child care for those parents? Also nah.)
The Dem-led House passed the next pandemic relief bill BACK IN MAY. It’s sat on Moscow Mitch’s desk since then. Supplemental unemployment insurance and eviction moratoriums are about to expire, like, TODAY as a result. In the midst of a historic, world-wide recession.
On this Lammas Eve, the 2020 harvest feels pretty fucking poisoned, to be honest.
So what do we do?
As Hecate reminds us: “A Witch’s job is to turn the Wheel, and round and round the Wheel must turn.”
How do we turn the wheel when, at the moment, it may feel Sisyphean?
And, perennial reminder, don’t forget self-care. Which is really hard right now, I admit.
It’s been inferno-level hot here, so I’ve been confined to my house A LOT. We normally travel quite a bit, both for work and for fun, and the fact that I haven’t been anywhere since January is REALLY starting to wear on me. We normally maintain season tickets to multiple theater companies and jazz series, and my city is normally wrapping up a large and wildly varied and inventive Fringe Fest (and I FEST HARD) right now, and NOPE to all of that. I haven’t signed a single new client this year. We normally entertain frequently, and we’re now reduced to seeing one household of friends per week, for a few hours, outside and physically distanced only, and everyone has to BYO everything (and did I mention it’s been historically hot here this summer?). I don’t even want to talk about my hair.
I’m guessing, even if, like me, you and yours are healthy and not in danger of losing your home, things might be pretty rough for you right now, too.
So in the midst of your postcarding and Senate race analyzing and GOTVing, plan something nice for yourself this weekend. Tell me about it in the comments.