Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We are not alone! We are fighting for our rights and those of future generations.

I had the pleasure today of attending the Women's Empowerment Conference in Long Beach, California. I found myself munching on some food, looked up and saw Madeleine Albright at the table next to me. I stood next to an environmental vehicle display and found myself shaking hands with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is opposed to a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. I walked with Bobby Shriver, heard about his wonderful work with Red, a product line that helps AIDS patients. He was also very supportive of NO on Prop. 8. I had the honor of sitting next to Maria Shriver, our State's First Lady and hearing of her personal support for NO on Proposition 8. I met with the Benedictine Nun, Sr. Joan Chittister and heard of her support for NO on Proposition 8. I met with the famous feminist, Gloria Steinem and heard of her support of NO on Proposition 8. I was interviewed by the Washington and then, appeared on the Peter B. Collins Radio show with Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church to discuss NO on Proposition 8. 

Had any ONE of these things happened today, I would have considered today exceptional. However, all of these things happened in one day and it seemed totally unreal. The fact that so many remarkable and extraordinary individuals are supportive of Equality, Fairness, and Human Rights is both uplifting and hope inspiring. As Melissa Etheridge said at a concert last night which raised nearly 4 million dollars for NO on Prop. 8, one day in the future people will look back at this time and find it hard to believe that some groups attempted to deny same sex couples the right to marry. 


Jennifer said...

It is always encouraging to hear of such support. However I do with that the Governor would honor his prior commitment to not only oppose Proposition 8 but actively fight against it. What's that verse about faith without works?

Kay & Sarah said...

Wow!!! All because you stood up for what is right.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Geoff, a long time ago I saw a book titled We Walk In Miracles. Your post today reminded me of that book title. It delights me to see the many and wonderful ways your life is being honored, just by "showing up". It's a joy to see the things that are emerging for you out of what seemed at one moment of time to be a dark night of the soul. Be assured that you are being applauded by many of your brothers and sisters!!


Bill said...

Thank goodness for the well-known folks who are supportive of equal rights for all. There are many people who will follow their lead.

Perhaps, though, there is a larger group who is more influenced by people like you who take a personal risk by speaking out for what you believe. You have heard the story of the average person whose life has been scorched by hatred. You have seen the real pain behind the struggle for fair treatment.

Davis said...

Good things happen in God's time. Waiting for God to accomplish these is often trying, but God willing in time we will all be treated as the equals we already are in his sight.

David@Montreal said...

Fr. Geoff
continuing to remember you in my prayers daily, I can only hope that your busy day stands proof for you that you are indeed not alone in this, but have joined something quite incredible- the call for the reformation of patriarchy within our Churches. once again, the Holy Spirit is using 'the least of these,' and that in this time it should be our LGBT tribe is awe inspiring.
Courage mon frere


Birdie said...

It is my belief that we are at a crucial moment in the next civil victory. It is my hope that it will be a spiritual victory as well. May this time go down as the catalyst for both.

Anonymous said...

Since I've never had the pleasure to hear you speak in Fresno, I found the podcast from the radio show you mentioned. It was very impressive. You talked about the primacy of conscience and how it will be our conscience that defends or acquits us when we stand at our last judgement - I clearly have to brush up on Thomas Aquinas.

Bill's comments here are right - when it is all said and done, it's not the stand that celebrities and politicians take on this issue that will sway opinions. It's the people like you, Rev Susan Russell, and Rev Deborah Johnson (see her sermon on No on 8 on YouTube)that will make the difference. When people like you, in a position of respect in a community, take a stand that is a personal risk - that's what makes a difference.

At Del Martin's memorial service a few weeks ago, her daughter gave a wonderful eulogy. She said that there are no extraordinary people - there are only ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Those people are the heroes, and it's within each of our own abilities to be a hero - to work each day to make a change and to make a difference, one step at a time.

Once again, kudos to you, Fr Geoff, you continue to be an inspiration for all of us to follow our conscience when confronted with injustice, and not to just stand idly and silently by.

We all have that power to do something now - we can do it by voting No on 8.

kkryno said...

You must be thinking: pinch me! Wait-don't wake me up!

You will accomplish much more before you're through.

Thank you for not hiding your candle under a basket.

Your light is inspirational.

Fr. Marty Kurylowicz said...

Fr. Farrow, what an absolutely beautiful witness of Christ just being present at this meeting the WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE.

I am sure they have never seen such a representative, a priest, from the Catholic Church before, who stood up so boldly for the human dignity and rights for all people, at one of their meetings. Not just any priest, but one who had the courage to stand up for truth.

Besides, LGBT people being ignored and in Prop 8 being openly attack by the Vatican, the Vatican has been dismissive of half the population of the world, women.

You are a beautiful example of Christ’s love for all people; truly opening up a window to the world that Christ is truly is present in the Catholic Church that the Vatican is so not the representative voice of the Church. This one gesture, being present at this meeting and expressing your excitement on your Blog about meeting these people is a breath of fresh air for the Catholic Church, so badly needed. I am sure that they were as impressed meeting you as you were meeting them. You are a very fine representative of us all. It even has a healing feeling and is so encouraging at the same time to hear you were present at the WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE. I am just beaming inside about the whole scene you described, because it is about truth and respect for all people.

Yesterday, I was at a Washtenaw, CALL TO ACTION (CTA) meeting, in Ann Arbor, Michigan explaining your Blog and the very supportive comments made on it. I was also addressing the issues about the psychological harm caused to very young children who grow up to be gay by antigay religious norms. I also addressed the fact that half the world population, women, the Vatican has ignored. These atrocities must not be allowed to continue. We must continue to do everything in our power to change them, because as you have said they are morally wrong.

Isn’t it amazing, how different the whole world looks once you have come out to yourself. Everything and everyone appear so much clearer. You can see so vividly the inhumane treatment of others, in the world. What Jesus said is so true, is it not “... First take the plank out of your own eye, 
and then you will see clearly
 to take out the speck that is in
 your brother’s [sister’s, neighbor’s] eye.” Luke 6:42

May God continue to guide and protect you.