Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Can You Bake a Cherry Pie, Billy Boy

so, an exciting milestone has been reached this, not the tomatoes, cause the first one was 2 weeks ago.  i know, i should have told you.  no, it's the inaugural appearance of the boiling water canner for the season.  that's right, and the victim:  cherries.

i have to say that of all the canning i've done so far (admittedly, not much), cherries have got to be up there in the labor intensive.  granted, these were "found" cherries, picked off a tree in public space, so i was already spending a decent amount of time picking.  but then, oh, then comes The Pitting.  thank goodness for my mother-in-law's fancy high-tech pitter, that's all i can say.  

and, after all that, i got enough to make 2.3 pies.  my husband's favorite, so i hope he knows how much i love him.  yeah, he probably does.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I am an HMTL Wizard

not to deflect from my previous post, but i just have to share my latest accomplishment, which is--messing around with the code in my blog.  i'm sure for "real" bloggers this is childs play, but...

*drumroll please*

...i changed the blockquotes code in my blog!  and i only twitched a little bit with anxiety before making the change, worried that i had irrevocably messed up my blog forever.

what are blockquotes, you ask?  well, let me tell you.  they are the thing that makes the quotation stand out differently from the rest of the text.  i got the idea for mine from this really helpful site called Blogger Buster, which had a bunch of ideas for customizing your blockquotes.  here's a copy of what i used, handily offset by the blockquotes themselves:
blockquote {
margin:1em 20px;
font-weight; bold;
font-style: italic; color: #87cefa;
border: 3px dotted #87cefa;
padding: 10px;
i even made up my own color scheme, and everything.  now, wasn't that fun?

James Dobson Doesn't Speak for Me

in another round of ways that the "religious right", while sharing much of my understanding of faith, does NOT share my understanding of politics and the intersection thereof, i bring you james dobson's recent attacks of barack obama (if you want to listen to it, scroll through to about 10 min 30 sec or so, because the whole first part is about something else).  as i've said before, i don't believe that either political party has cornered the market on being christianer-than-thou.  i have real issues with some of the "party lines" of both sides, but i get very frustrated with the assumption that christians can only morally vote for a republican.  there are some planks of the republican party that stand in direct opposition of my understanding of the christian faith.

i also feel that dobson in particular has been irresponsible during this campaign, telling his followers in february that faced with his current choices for president (mccain, or hillary/obama at the time) he is simply not going to vote.  i'm sorry, but for a public figure with as much influence as he has to tell people he won't vote, that is not only irresponsible but also strikes me as fairly like a petty tantrum.  in my house, people who have petty tantrums have to go to their room for a while.

this line of thought began last week because of an email that a friend sent me, where jim wallis (the author of the book i blogged about here) points out how much distortion james dobson uses in his attack on obama.  you can read jim wallis' whole essay here, but in a nutshell he sums up a lot of what i have been feeling in these last few paragraphs: 
Instead of saying that Christians must accept the "the lowest common denominator of morality," as Dobson accused Obama of suggesting, or that people of faith shouldn't advocate for the things their convictions suggest, Obama was saying the exact opposite -- that Christians should offer their best moral compass to the nation but then engage in the kind of democratic dialogue that religious pluralism demands. Martin Luther King Jr. perhaps did this best, with his Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other.

One more note. I personally disagree with how both the Democrats and Republicans have treated the moral issue of abortion and am hopeful that the movement toward a serious commitment for dramatic abortion reduction will re-shape both parties' language and positions. But that is the only "bloody notion" that Dobson mentions. What about the horrible bloody war in Iraq that Dobson apparently supports, or the 30,000 children who die each day globally of poverty and disease that Dobson never mentions, or the genocides in Darfur and other places? In making abortion the single life issue in politics and elections, leaders from the Religious Right like Dobson have violated the "consistent ethic of life" that we find, for example, in Catholic social teaching.

Dobson has also fought unsuccessfully to keep the issue of the environment and climate change, which many also now regard as a "life issue," off the evangelical agenda. Older Religious Right leaders are now being passed by a new generation of young evangelicals who believe that poverty, "creation care" of the environment, human trafficking, human rights, pandemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and the fundamental issues of war and peace are also "religious" and "moral" issues and now a part of a much wider and deeper agenda. That new evangelical agenda is a deep threat to Dobson and the power wielded by the Religious Right for so long. It puts many evangelical votes in play this election year, especially among a new generation who are no longer captive to the Religious Right. Perhaps that is the real reason for Dobson's attack on Barack Obama.

i very much identify with what jim wallis describes as "a new generation of young evangelicals" and the issues he describes.  i am excited for the "moral issues" of our time to include more than just The Big One that the religious right has said is important.

for the record, the speech by obama that dobson is so adamantly attacking is here.  i find after reading it that in my opinion, the more vitriolic and low-minded speech goes to dobson, not obama.