Monday, October 29, 2007

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I belong to an ecumenical, Christian homeschooling co-op. It is full of lovely, intelligent, decent families.

Recently, though, some of the women were dismayed to learn that there are a few Jewish members in our midst. Several rallied for stricter controls on membership approval. According to these purists, we must ensure that every person signs the Statement of Faith, signifying their commitment to the tenents of the Christian faith. Opinions among the board members were split. The solution was to mass e-mail the members. We were given two options.

Option A: All potential members must sign a statement of faith. No exceptions are made.

Option B: A potential member may join without signing the statement of faith if they are recommended by another member, meet with the board members and hold no leadership position.

Actually, though I voted for Option B, I think even this Option is more stringent than necessary. In the first place, the group's name and materials overtly describe a Christian group. I hardly think non-Christians are lining up for entry. Secondly, there is no danger in allowing a non-Christian to join. Oh, I understand the fear. The fear is that if we don't require people to state their faith, then we could get some "really bad religion" people in there and then how could we kick them out? The fear is that our children might sit next to a child from one of those other, wrong religions and those children might tell our children Jesus is not God.

But I believe that "perfect love casts out fear". I know the Jewish members. And I like them today as much as I liked them before I knew they were Jewish. They teach classes that enrich the lives of the children. Their children are friends with my children. And they are intelligent, loving, decent mothers who homeschool their kids, too.

When Jesus walked the earth, the religious leaders of the day were shocked and horrified at the people he consorted with: tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes. He broke bread with hated people. He spoke to the woman at the well, a social outcast, who had had five husbands. Jesus condemned those who were more concerned with the letter of the law then helping those in need. Would Jesus require people to sign alligience to His faith before joining his group? (If he did, ironically, it would be Judaism!)

In our co-op, 100 families get along, even though we come from many denominations. Catholics, Baptists, Episcapalians, Presbyterians, Pentacostals, Methodists...we all operate together without problems, despite differing doctrinal beliefs. What is the difference if someone does not believe all the tenents listed in the statement of faith?

I don't think division, exclusion and separatism in any way reflect what Jesus was about. Exclusive people spread unhappiness and ill will. Accepting people spread community and love. I vote for acceptance. I embrace love.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Hero is Gay

J.K. Rowling dropped the bomb, if you haven't heard. Turns out Dumbledore, my favorite Harry Potter character, is gay. (Or was gay, since he died before the series ended.) Now frankly, I wouldn't care about this personal detail, even if he were a real person. Straight or gay, I still love the wise old wizard.

But I'm disappointed that Rowling decided to present this particular backstory. What was wrong with leaving this part of Dumbledore's past cloaked in mystery? (Just wait 'till Rita Skeeter hears!) This is just going to give the fanatical Dobson-worshiping homophobes another reason to crusade against the Harry Potter books. Having never cracked a cover, they will assume there are gay references throughout the books, "indoctrinating" children to turn gay. Really - didn't we Christian-types who love the series have trouble enough defending Harry Potter against our slippery-slope-paranoid friends?

I am raising my children with an aim towards tolerance of other people who live their lives differently. But learning to be tolerant of different sexual behavior can wait until they are old enough to know about sexual behavior. Which is hopefully not soon.

My daughter is bound to discover this tidbit. So, what is the benefit of her knowing that Dumbledore was gay? And he was in love with Gellert Grindewald?

I don't get it. Jo, you shouldn't have done that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Outcome

Wrestling won.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reluctant Soccer Mom

I figured it would be good to do that local-sports-team thing with my kids. You know, get some exercise, learn teamwork, catch up on all that missed socialization (like learning the charming phrase, "Ha!Ha! Lick my butt!" which Collin surprised me with recently). Kyla and Collin have both played spring and fall soccer each year since they were four. I've been okay with that, although I resent the interference with our evenings sometimes.

Last winter, though, my husband, Kelly, signed Collin up for wrestling. Visions of by-gone glory days in mind, no doubt. It might even have been glory days for me, too. Wrestlers have always had a pull for me.

So, Kelly has been revving up to sign Collin up for his second season of wrestling. Collin has told him plainly that he doesn't much like wrestling, to which Kelly's response is to initiate a "take down" in the family room. See, Collin; it's so much fun! Yeah.

I've been on the fence about this whole issue. I never wanted to be one of those scrambling families, rushing the kids off to sports endlessly, season after season, year after year. And yet, here we are. How can that be? I have become the Soccer Mom I used to bad-mouth! I would be most content to stick with spring and fall sports; break for winter and summer. But, there is my husband to consider. I do care what he wants for them, too.

And then, there's that whole problem of Collin saying he doesn't really like wrestling. I'm not sure where I stand on that, either. On the one hand, I do think sometimes you have to help kids try things, get past the little hump of resistance. On the other hand, that's another kind of parent I never liked much - I wrestled, therefore so must my son.

Collin's soccer coach, it turns out, just asked Kelly if Collin was available to do indoor soccer for winter. Coach is putting together a team and would like to have Collin on it. Kelly was non-committal; he doesn't know what to do about Collin's reluctance to wrestle, either. Tomorrow is the last day I can sign up for wrestling, so I have to prod the issue. Man, I hate that.

I'd rather Collin go on the indoor soccer team. He loves soccer, believes he is good at it, and has an excellant coach. But, darn it! That means we're doing soccer three-quarters of the year! Still, it's better than dragging him to a sport he's not interested in.

We have to decide tonight.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Thinkwell

I talk to myself. I've done it as far back as I can recall. I remember as a little kid, maybe 6, walking around and around and around a tall tree stump in the backyard. There were roots that surfaced the ground in a little pattern and I would hop the pattern and talk to myself for hours. Well maybe not hours. A long time. Some undefined long period of time.

People who know me well are aware that I talk to myself. Thankfully, they hardly ever mention it.

So, I thought a blog would be just the thing. Kind of like a Pensieve. A place to store the silver threads of my endless thoughts. Maybe I will be less-often noticed at stop lights, chatting away to an enamored audience of one.

Happy reading!

The Premier Post

Here it is....The Very First Post on my blog! Wow! See, you can always tell someone who is older than 30 by how astounded we are when we dip our toe into the pool of technology and come away with some measure of success!

Thank God for templates!

More fascinating insights into the world of a homeschooling, slightly OCD, libertarian mother-of-three coming soon.