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Virginia Woolf & Tulsa Massacre

I had never read A Room of One’s Own. For decades it was on my “someday” list of works to read. Now that I get books from the library only by ordering them, I finally read Virginia Woolf’s famous book, doubting I would find it as groundbreaking as everyone said.  Its emotional effect on me surpassed my expectation, shaped as I am now by the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing fallout. Written in 1928, A Room of One’s Own still applies today, in 2020. 

Woolf wondered why women are so interesting to men. “Have you any notion of how many [books about women] have been written by men?” 
She studied a few learned tomes by men about women:         Alexander Pope wrote, “Most women have no character at all.”         Dr. Samuel Johnson regarded a woman composer “like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”         Oscar Browning, professor at Cambridge, declared after looking over examination papers that “the best woman was inte…

Catholic history & racism

Guest columnist John Chuchman thought a bit about Catholic Church history.
In the 15th century,  the Catholic Church became the first global institution  to declare that Black lives did not matter.

 In a series of papal bulls  beginning with Pope Nicholas V's Dum Diversas (1452)  and including Pope Alexander VI's Inter Caetera (1493),  the church not only authorized the perpetual enslavement of Africans  and the seizure of non-Christian lands,  but morally sanctioned the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. 

This trade forcibly transported  at least 12.5 million enslaved African men, women and children  to the Americas and Europe  to enrich European and Catholic coffers. 

It also caused the deaths of tens of millions of Africans and Native Americans over nearly four centuries.

In the land area that became the United States,  the Catholic Church introduced African slavery in the 16th century

George Floyd

I’m running errands, knowing the memorial for George Floyd is happening. When I get back to my car, I hear the announcer’s voice ending and then silence. More silence. Then the announcer saying people are standing for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. Immediately I think, "That’s too long! If I were there I would have to sit down."
I can’t stand for long. When I was a little girl, everything around me turned black during long-standing portions of the Mass. Always I was saved by the congregation shifting positions before I fell in a faint. 
The radio announcer comes on again and explains the silence is how long the cop’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. Ohhh. Tears of sudden understanding fill my eyes as I drive on. The image of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck returns—staying for a long time!
Other moments of sudden tears happened that weekend. At home I studied Chauvin’s face as he knelt on the neck of a Black man. No fear. Rather a look of victory. He looked secure in h…

NOW is the MOMENT

Now is the moment to change the world, writes Rutger Bregmanin Timemagazine. He quotes Milton Friedman: Only a crisis . . . produces real change.Bregman strengthens my hope that this crisis may be a catalyst for changes that help heal the planet and its inhabitants.
The coronavirus pandemic is laying bare grotesque inequities, making a return to the “normal” before it unlikely. Like a forest fire letting sunlight reach the forest floor, it shows the rot of injustice and inequality preventing the whole of society from flourishing.
It exposes the craziness of our economic system. In Bregman’s words, “the more vital your work, the less you are paid, the more insecure your employment and the more risk you are in the fight against the coronavirus.” I add that performers of the least vital work—hedge fund managers, multinational elites, Wall Street financiers—control the most wealth.
Among changes needed, Bregman mentions autocrats “suffocating democracy.” Kim Jong Un, Victor Orban in Hungar…

Grandparents saving the world

Grandparents can be a powerful force for building a stable society. My appreciation for this rose when I watched my sister-in-law Marilyn, a master grandma, at work. She was hosting me for a few days and apologized that she had to babysit her granddaughter. I looked forward to it because I’d already pegged her as a master grandma.

I had heard her telling stories about her grandchildren and enjoying their personalities. She watches them interacting together and vying to get their way. Traits of each are astutely displayed in her accounts—the introverted scholar wearing glasses, the more physical ones, the feisty ones, the ones needing certain types of attention.

Grandma’s love for them is unquestioned, impartial, and immense, but she’s no pushover. Her knowledge of child psychology comes out in stories of adults giving in to child pleading, with the sure result of future trouble.

Aella, nearly two, the youngest and only girl, is not intimidated but establishes her place among her older…

A pet peeve

http://s411101314.onlinehome.us/beyond-parochial-faith
To be honest, the only connection between this writing and spirituality is that I'm confessing a feeling that roils me every time I hear people abuse language, people who should know better—professional writers and speakers. They're the ones who commit this sin. 
I have yet to meet “in terms of” in a sentence that needed it. I wish it had never entered the English language. In most cases, “terms of” is witlessly added to in and should simply be deleted. Almost always it signifies nothing but a lack of precision. 
“This nation faces a crisis in terms of health care.” Cleaned of the meaningless words, it says, “This nation faces a crisis in health care.” “Where will they take the country in terms of foreign policy?” More pleasing, “Where will they take the country in foreign policy?” 
Readers can easily clean up the following: “The government plays a part in terms of education. If it gives less money in terms of grants you have…

Goodness in COVID 19 crisis

The disaster keeps triumphantly surging as states and D.C. struggle to control it. Harvard Professor Ken Rogoffwarns, “We are going to see a recession, at least in the short term, the likes of which we have not seen at least going back to World War II. . . . We're in a war. . . . I would have no problem with the government debt magically going up $5 trillion in the blink of an eye, . . . This is an emergency.”
In addition to the economic war, we have to win the psychological war. COVID 19 can threaten emotional stability, our faith in ourselves and our universe. Still, within every dark moment rest points of light, and I intend to make some known. 
Disasters have a way of inciting extraordinary kindness and courage. A “mysterious, erotic, enveloping sense of possibility and communion” emerges in disasters, says Rebecca Solnit, who was interviewed by Krista Tippett on On Being this morning.
During Hurricane Katrina, mainstream media believed and broadcast vicious, made-up stori…