Friday, August 24, 2012

WHERE I STAND

We're finally here! I'm launching my blog, so much of my pontificating on Facebook can stop --- and I can shift it here, to what I believe is a more appropriate forum. In this initial post, I'd like to lay out some of the ideas and principles underlying this blog:

 About Me
I am an old, gay black man; I can't change either of those four things, and many of my opinions will inevitably be colored by my life experiences, which any one or more of those four factors might affect. I despise double standards and sweeping generalizations, and I consider political correctness to be condescending, insulting, and usually just plain silly.

 On Religion
I am an Episcopalian. My personal views and spiritual practices may be closer to those of New Thought groups and teachers such as Unity, Religious Science, Shakti Gawain and Johnnie Colemon than they are to Episcopal orthodoxy, but I find that the approach to corporate worship developed within the Anglican/Episcopal tradition has always spoken to my soul.

 On Politics
I am a fairly liberal Democrat.

I used to be a Republican, and  I was a fervent supporter of Mitt Romney's amazingly progressive, forward-thinking father, George, back when the Republican Party was populated heavily with people staunchly in the Lincolnian Republican tradition --- people like Nelson Rockefeller, John Lindsay, Ed Brooke, Chuck Percy, and, of course, George Romney. That was a time when the Republican approach was to tear down the legal barriers to equal opportunity for all citizens, while that of the Democrats seemed to be to try to impose some kind of group equality or parity; that really couldn't work and didn't work, and has led to a multitude of social problems in this country.

Now is a very different time; the GOP has been taken over by what I call (pardon the obscenity which, I have to warn you, will be used over and over in my posts) the Batshit Boys, intent on converting this country from the free, secular democratic republic that the Founders envisioned, into a puritanical theocracy. Gaining control of the judiciary is the most important step they can take in making this conversion, and is the single most important reason why I believe Obama/Biden MUST defeat Romney/Ryan, the more soundly the better

 Contemporary Culture
I am one of those old people who deplore the coarsening of our society, the rapid flight from civility.

Whatever happened to good manners, to beauty and grace and elegance? Why are those considered bad words now, describing outmoded concepts? Why have young people around the world looked at and adopted the ugliest, coarsest behaviors of certain Americans --- most of whom are from extremely dysfunctional backgrounds --- as being representative of the American culture that they want to emulate?

Suffiice it to say that I am not only on the same page as Dr. William E. (''Bill'') Cosby, he who grew up in the mean, mean projects of Philadelphia, on this matter; we're on the same LINE of the same page!

This Blog
Above was just a brief overview of the some of the subjects we will explore here. I have my clear, closely-held opinions on these matters, and some of my positions do not fit neatly into categories that observers may want to impose. Some of my views on theological matters will be strongly opposed by my fellow Episcopalians -- especially, clergypeople --- and many of my positions on ethnic and cultural matters will be highly offensive to friends who are steeped in what I call 1960s-era Liberal Orthodoxy.

Sure --- if you agree with any of my religious, political, or other observations, express that here; but what I will more deeply appreciate will be intelligently presented viewpoints that differ markedly from mine. It's in exploration, discussion, and debate that my horizons will be expanded, that I will grow. I'm selfish; I WANT to learn and grow.

All I will insist upon is civility; to use two old cliches, sometimes we will have to "agree to disagree," but we must always remember that we can "disagree without being disagreeable."