On Saturday 1 November I attended an ecumenical prayer service which was held at Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles, California. Present at that beautiful event which gave witness of God's all embracing love, were various clergy. It reminded me of the fact that as we draw closer to the God of us all, who is love, we are drawn closer to each other. At one point a same sex parent spoke of a recent conversation held with their adopted daughter. The girl became upset when she saw a car pass by with a "Yes on 8" bumper sticker. She said: They shouldn't be allowed to put that out in public. The parent patiently explained that we live in a democracy and that everyone has a right to express their opinion, as long as they don't hurt anyone. The girl thought for a moment and said: but, they are hurting someone, they're hurting our family!
From the mouth of babes! My grandmother used to say that small children and drunks never lie. I cannot think of a more powerful way of expressing what tomorrow's vote means. It is about safeguarding the rights of all families in our state. It is about protecting our constitution from being altered to enshrine bigotry. It is about protecting all of our citizens from having to live in fear. From having to suffer discrimination. From having to defend their existence in the face of condescension and sometimes, outright hatred and physical hostility. We're better than that. We're voting for that little girl, for her family and for all Californians.
On Sunday 2 November I attended a rally in front of City Hall in Fresno, California. For those of you unfamiliar with that part of our state, it is a very politically and socially conservative area. The bullet proof vest which I was lent by homeland security reminded me that there are still school yard bullies. Cowards who attack those they think are weaker or, who challenge their own insecurities. I received an E-mail that a local "yes on 8" minister was going to release this congregation from services early so, that they could infiltrate and disrupt the rally, I mused: Is that what Jesus would do? It was a sunny and beautiful day and over 1,000 very motivated No on Prop 8 people stood in front of the podium. A podium which I was privileged to share with many wonderful dignitaries including the granddaughter of the late Cesar Chavez, Cristina. The infiltrators never showed up. Shakespeare said: "The brave man dies but, once. The coward dies one thousand deaths."
I had the opportunity to enjoy a conversation with Cristina while we were waiting our respective turns to speak. If it wasn't for Cesar Chavez, many of the few rights and protections now afforded to migrant workers in California would not exist. We recalled the time in our national history when people like the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez were seen as subversive. When they were told: "This is how things have always been." Cristina said, that if her grandfather were alive today, that he would be working for NO on Proposition 8. That he always championed the cause of any person or, minority group that found itself being attacked. There was a lot of hatred directed at Dr. King and Cesar Chavez a few decades ago. Some people still resent them today. But, their courageous stand moved our nation a little closer to making good on our Pledge of Allegiance: "with liberty and justice for ALL.'
PLEASE, join with us tomorrow on Election Day. Please, vote NO on Proposition 8. There will be long lines at the polls tomorrow. Expect to wait 90 minutes or even 2 hours at some locations, before you get to vote. Go with friends and family. Make it part of a day together. Invite neighbors and co-workers.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight