kay_gmd: (fair)
So this went up on facebook first, but I want to keep it here too.

I'm second generation Chinese American. My dad moved with his family from China to Hong Kong as a young child, and then came to the states for college.
He was an electrical engineer. He created a company,that he eventually sold,and then he did East Asian sales for Silicon Valley telecom companies. Now he's retired in Thailand, apparently when he was traveling for work he noticed that Thailand was the most relaxed place to be.
Dad's first move was because his dad was on the wrong side of the war in China. His family had papers, but they were refugees. They didn't want to leave China, it just wasn't safe for them to stay.
The US has never lived up to the bold statement on the Statue of Liberty, but it has been the quest to do so that has made us strong. It has brought the diversity of thought and culture that has allowed us to grow and thrive as a nation. That is all to the good.
I'm glad that it turns out that doing good has good results, but it isn't actually the main reason we need to welcome immigrants and refugees. We do good because it is the right thing to do.
Hospitality is a tenant of Christianity as well as many other religions. When someone comes knocking we welcome them in. It's not usually because we're happy to see them, or even because we're where they really want to be. It is because our home is a less bad option for them.
We are called to welcome our neighbor and the stranger, and our neighbors is defined to be everyone. When Christ talked about sorting out the good from the bad he did not talk about how well we knew or followed the law. He talked about how well we treated those less fortunate.
There is never any indication that these people we offer hospitality to will be model citizens. Some will. Some won't. Just like any sufficiently large population. We welcome to help, but we also welcome to be people we can take pride in being.
Build a bigger table if you want to build something, so that we can share meals, we don't need a wall.
kay_gmd: (fair)
So here's my first practice of talking to Christians

I saw this article
 http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/08/pence-prayed-allowed-hiv-outbreak-to-spread/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=FBCP-ATH&utm_content=progressivesecularhumanist

I wrote the governor http://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm ;:

Beloved Brother Mike,
I pray that I find you well full of blessings.
I'm writing to share my deep concern about something I've heard in the news. I have heard that in 2015 Indina allowed an HIV outbreak to spread in. It is my understanding that there was an opportunity to greatly minimize this with a needle exchange, and this solution while greatly desirable was not allowed by the governor's office.
I find this concerning because I know that you identify as a Christian first, and I see this as misrepresenting Christianity.
Specifically I'm having difficulty reconciling this with:
-Jesus identification of the greatest commandments as Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. And a second is like it You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mat 22:37-39
- The sheep and the goats what Jesus will judge us on Mat 25:36. Specifically "I was sick and you looked after me" It seems to me that while Jesus absolutely encourages us to pray he is very specific and clear that we should act and in this case in particular action was necessary.
Can you help me reconcile this?
It's important to me that we present a clear picture of Christianity that most fully represents Christ's teachings. I feel that this missed chance to care for the sick misrepresented the faith.
If you would like to discuss this further you can reach me at xxx@gmail.com.
Praying that this finds you well,
Blessings
Sarah Williams

Then I edited it slightly, and wrote to the Indiana Catholic Conference icc@archindy.org

Beloved Brother or Sister,
I pray that I find you well full of blessings.
I'm writing to share my deep concern about something I've heard in the news about our Brother in Christ Mike Pence. I have heard that in 2015, while our brother was governor, Indiana allowed an HIV outbreak to spread in. It is my understanding that there was an opportunity to greatly minimize this with a needle exchange, and this solution while greatly desirable was not allowed by the governor's office.
I find this concerning because I know that you identify as a Christian first, and I see this as misrepresenting Christianity.
Specifically I'm having difficulty reconciling this with:
-Jesus identification of the greatest commandments as Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. And a second is like it You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mat 22:37-39
- The sheep and the goats what Jesus will judge us on Mat 25:36. Specifically "I was sick and you looked after me" It seems to me that while Jesus absolutely encourages us to pray he is very specific and clear that we should act and in this case in particular action was necessary.
Can you help me reconcile this? If you agree that these are difficult to reconcile can you please contact them?

I've contacted them, but suspect that they might listen more carefully to you.
It's important to me that we present a clear picture of Christianity that most fully represents Christ's teachings. I feel that this missed chance to care for the sick misrepresented the faith.
If you would like to discuss this further you can reach me at xxx@gmail.com.
I want to apologize. I'm a Methodist, and am not deeply familiar with the workings of the Catholic church, but as Mike Pence is Catholic I thought it would be best to contact you. If I have contacted the wrong person please let me know, and forward as appropriate.
Praying that this finds you well,
Blessings
Sarah Williams
kay_gmd: (fair)
So in Sunday's Sermon Pastor Kelly called us to be explicit about our spirituality, and that got me thinking.
I'm not sure this is what she had in mind but this is where my faith comes from.

My first church memories are at Sunnyhills UMC.  Mom, and my little brother and I started attending there when we moved to California when I was starting 1st grade.
When I say that it takes a village to raise a child this church is what I imagine as the village.
I remember Sunday school with a nice woman running the class with short white hair, a new leaflet every week (with a story, questions, and activities), and the playground out back. I remember feeling so important marking the pages in the hymnal for the songs in the bulletin. I remember being acolyte.
I remember playing at the parsonage while the congregation helped mom move us out of dad’s house when they separated.
I remember meeting, and being taken under the wing of the kid that would become my best friend. I remember her family. They say that little girls look for their daddy in potential partners .  Groblek’s not particularly like my dad, which is just as well, because our tempers wouldn’t meld well, but he has a good deal of similarity to their dad. I’m most grateful for finally having a group of friends at school when I started going to the school they went to in high school.
I remember “helping” with watching the younger kids so that we could march around the playground and leave at children’s time. 
I remember youth group, and writing the puppet shows.
I remember marching for political candidates, and against war.

That’s the experience I remember. As I look back there are other things I know. I know that the community that I grew up in was an odd combination of hippies who’d developed careers and ways of taking care of their responsibilities, but did not changed their political opinions, and retired military. I’m sure there were others who were there, but those are the ones I recall.
In 1984 when we started there the pastor was Pam, who was a single woman, and the congregation was, or was becoming a reconciling congregation. (Reconciling Congregation is the Methodist for accepting of LGBTQ.) I remember one couple of men who was strongly active with the church.

This is the foundation my faith was built on.
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