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"It takes a village to bury a child"

Aunt Dora Baggins

Oct 12 2008, 8:31pm

Post #1 of 17 (304 views)
"It takes a village to bury a child" Can't Post

Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. This morning in my church in the town where Shepard died, the minister lit a candle in his memory and spoke about him in his sermon. He said "It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to bury a child. And it takes a village to say 'Never again will this happen here.'"

But of course it did happen again here, in the town I work in, a few miles away; last summer Angie Zapata was murdered for being transgendered. We've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com


Oct 12 2008, 9:28pm

Post #2 of 17 (178 views)
A Sad Anniversary [In reply to] Can't Post

"Never again" is, sadly, a meaningless expression for some people.

The Road News and Rumors


Oct 13 2008, 12:23am

Post #3 of 17 (164 views)
We keep striving for 'equality' and 'liberty and justice for all' but it often seems a slow road. // [In reply to] Can't Post


Most people don't know there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable - fall asleep and miss your life.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 13 2008, 1:06am

Post #4 of 17 (163 views)
"Never again" [In reply to] Can't Post

Such a fervent desire, and so frustrating to make happen...yet we can only do what we can, with the time that is given to us.


{{Aunt Dora}}

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Oct 13 2008, 1:49am

Post #5 of 17 (162 views)
The battle never ends [In reply to] Can't Post

At least in this life. It seems that as long as there are people there will be those who do such things. There is an endless supply. What we have to do is to make sure there is an endless supply of people who will not do such things, and will stand against those who do.

Ordinance 4115 - Do not feed the Orcbane


Oct 13 2008, 4:40am

Post #6 of 17 (143 views)
My respects to those in loss. [In reply to] Can't Post

A vigil must remain, in our own little corners of the world, against hate because of ignorance.

"Tolkien, like Lewis, believed that, through story, the real world would become a more magical place, full of meaning. We see its patterns and colors in a fresh way. The recovery of a true view of the world applies both to individual things, like hills and stones, and to the cosmic - the depths of space and time itself. For in sub-creation, in Tolkien's view, there is a "survey" of space and time. Reality is captured on a miniature scale. Through stories like The Lord of the Rings, a renewed view of things is given, illuminating the homely, the spiritial, the physical, and the moral dimensions of the world."

Tolkien and C.S. Lewis- The Gift of Friendship -Duriez

After Sunset
I have an understanding with the hills
At evening, when slanted radiance fills
Their hollows, and the great winds let them be,
And they are quiet and look down at me.
Oh, then I see the patience in their eyes
Out of the centuries that made them wise.
They lend me hoarded memory, and I learn
Their thoughts of granite and their whims of fern,
And why a dream of forests must endure
Though every tree be slain; and how the pure,
Invisible beauty has a word so brief
A flower can say it, or a shaken leaf,
But few may ever snare it in a song,
Though for the quest a life is not too long.
When the blue hills grow tender, when they pull
The twilight close with gesture beautiful,
And shadows are their garments, and the air
Deepens, and the wild veery is at prayer,
Their arms are strong around me; and I know
That somehow I shall follow where you go
To the still land beyond the evening star,
Where everlasting hills and valleys are,
And silence may not hurt us any more,
And terror shall be past, and grief and war.

Grace Hazard Conkling (conclusion of a song recital from the book Lake Minnewaska by W Doughty where he says ''this is not the end of songs which we are certain will continue to rise from gifted minds and hearts in this enchanted realm where sometimes 'great mists lie' but always where 'great dreams rise' ''.) ...Reminds me particularly of the elves and the ents

May the grace of Manwë let us soar with eagle's wings!

In the air, among the clouds in the sky
Here is where the birds of Manwe fly
Looking at the land, and the water that flows
The true beauty of earth shows
With the stars of Varda lighting my way
In all the realms this is where I stay
In the realm of Manwë Súlimo
By El~Cugu

From the website: 'The Realm of Manwe'


Oct 13 2008, 4:55am

Post #7 of 17 (155 views)
Bullies [In reply to] Can't Post

I once read an interview with someone who used to be a gay-basher and repented. He said that when he thought about it, he had no particular hostility towards gays per se, it's just that they happened to be an acceptable target for the rage inside him. Other bullies might attack homeless people, or people of whichever race or religion happens to be the latest fashion in scapegoats, or the folks who don't do things like we do, the folks in the other town, the other nation, the other anything. In Afghanistan it's women. In Ireland it's people of the same ethnicity, of one or the other of two religions so similar as to make the pinpointing of doctrinal differences a challenge to any who undertake it. The reasons said out loud, after the fact, don't really matter--this issue goes beyond any labels. It's a fundamental "need" for a designated victim.

Who do we drive outside the protection of basic human dignity? We need to reach a point where we shove nobody out into the cold and dark.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 13 2008, 9:11am

Post #8 of 17 (142 views)
Very true [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me that there's just something in the human spirit that wants to hate. Even people who try to be open-minded and compassionate have to monitor themselves to keep from hating those they see as close-minded and cold-hearted - especially when they belong to a political party or religious group whose views the "open-minded and compassionate" ones consider antithetical to their own. I'm very guilty of this, myself.

No one is totally without prejudice, though I pray the day will come when we will be. In the meantime, I'd suggest that if you think your God - whichever god that might be - is telling you to persecute and/or discriminate against anyone - then it's not God you're listening to.

Rest in peace, my brother Matthew.

Those left standing will make millions writing books on the way it should have been. --Incubus

(This post was edited by Kyriel on Oct 13 2008, 9:18am)

Grey Havens

Oct 13 2008, 10:28am

Post #9 of 17 (158 views)
well said -- an idea that's helped me is [In reply to] Can't Post

I try to avoid even using dualistic terms such as "they" or "the other side." Individuals and issues are multidimensional.

A quotation (slightly edited) from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:
Suppose you read a story of filthy atrocities committed by the other side. Then a second story turns up suggesting that the first one might not be entirely true. Is your first feeling "Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that," or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemy as bad as possible? The second reaction is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which if continued will make us all into devils. You see, we are beginning to wish that black were a little blacker....Finally we shall insist on seeing everything as bad: we shall be fixed forever in a universe of pure hatred.


"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."


Oct 13 2008, 11:14am

Post #10 of 17 (128 views)
"human beings need a malign force to blame for their self-wrought difficulties" [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting essay today in Armed Forces Journal, arguing that we do not act in "rational self-interest" but instead in "emotional self-interest". The author uses several examples (including the Crusades). Here is an example of the thinking that led to The Holocaust:

Instead, look at this monstrous frenzy in terms of the emotional satisfaction it provided. In “the Germanies,” anti-Semitism enjoyed a popular appeal dating back to the Crusades and beyond — not only because Jews were different, but also because human beings need a malign force to blame for their self-wrought difficulties (or for acts of nature, such as epidemics). The factual innocence of the Jews was irrelevant. The cathartic satisfaction of taking revenge on a caricatured, dehumanized enemy, in nodding approvingly as thugs smashed shop windows and bellowed “Juden raus!” was enormous...

One may not agree with all the conclusions of the essay, but I thought there's quite a bit of truth in this excerpt. When we dehumanize a group of people, it is quite easy to make them scapegoats for all that ails us. No amount of "rationality" works, if you make "them" into "nonhuman", or even pull apart a society to make groups called "them" and "us" in the first place.


"an seileachan"

Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

"You only see the outside of me"

Tol Eressea

Oct 13 2008, 2:52pm

Post #11 of 17 (129 views)
It is a bizarre thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

it really is. That it happens still, imho. Now, I'm not bashing the States with this, but living in Canada we seem to be a little more relaxed about a lot of this issues, but it is still way to prevailant here to. We have relaxed marijuana rules, we seem to be closer to allowing gay marriages across the country (may actually have it now...haven't kept up on the most recent rulings in every province or even federally), our 'hate' crimes seem to be fewer. But we are also a much smaller country, population-wise, so per capita, we could be very close, I just don't know those number well enough. But the perception up here is that it can be a lot worse in other parts of the world. Ireland was mentioned also, I have been to Ireland around the time of the Marches, my ancestry is all Irish, and I have some really close friends who have come from Ireland in the last two decades, and am constantly amazed and scared of those battles. One family came because a bomb went off and left some pretty gruesome destruction in their backyard. I have watched one of those families almost tear itself apart because one of the daughters started hanging out in a 'mixed' bar, meaning people who chose to ignore the religious differences could just hang out and enjoy themselves. I work with a man who professes to not be a racist, homophobe but can't help himself making comments to the contrary. And we work in sports television, there are lot's of oppurtunity for those comments. He would lose it if his daughter or son came home with someone of a different skin colour or the same sex.
One of my oldest friends is a gay man, his family accepts him, most of his friends accept him...but not everyone does. He has lost some very old, very close friends since he came out. It's just amazing, especially here in Toronto, where there is a massive gay community and a very accepted one as well. But he still can't feel completely safe being gay, he can't just live his life, he actually has to be on-guard for just being himself! He lives in New York most of the year, and still doesn't feel completely safe there either. Toronto and New York, two to the largest and most liberal cities in North America and the anti-gay sentiment is still so apparent....it just boggles my mind. My gf is a bisexual woman, and has never hidden that fact, but it is amazing to see the reactions of some people when that comes out in a conversation. Whether it be at work or out at a bar....some people can't recoil fast enough and act like she is the ugliest, most horrible person walking the earth. And so am I then for associating with her!
Anyway, these kinds of memorials are sad on so many levels. It really reminds of how much work we have to still do on tolerance at all levels. On the positive side, it reminds me though of all the progress we have made as well. Sorry I'm rambling here and trying to get ready for our traditional 'Round 2' of Thanksgiving (Yep it's Thanksgiving Weekend up here in Canada!), the leftover brunch.....things to be thankful for.....kinda makes ya go hmmmm....eh?

What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"


Oct 13 2008, 7:23pm

Post #12 of 17 (110 views)
Projection [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the operant force behind prejudice is projection. Carl Jung first came up with the idea when examining his own antisemitism. Here almost all of his colleagues were Jewish, and good men, and only one obnoxious, greedy, pushy one in the lot, yet he suddenly realized that whenever that one, single colleague misbehaved he reflexively thought, "Typical Jew!" The irrationality of it dawned on him, seeing that he ignored the virtuous majority to judge an entire ethnic group by the only bad example that he could find. "This is a neurosis!" he realized, and then came to the stunning conclusion that if so, he shared it with his entire community--and that is when he recognized that prejudice is a community neurosis.

(For the record, he completely cured himself of antisemitism as soon as he recognized it, but to this day gets a bad rap for promoting antisemitism, which he emphatically did not do. This comes from a horrible article with his name attached to it, titled "Wotan." He originally wrote an article about German culture being fixated on a Teutonic Pagan level, because Christianity came to them the wrong way, at sword-point, and he speculated that the finer points of Judaeo-Christian philosophy would elude the culture until his people could attain certain levels of skipped-over growth. His editors modified everything he wrote to instead paint Teutonic Paganism as superior to "decadent" Jewish philosophy. He rewrote it all over again, protesting vociferously. The article got changed at the presses to toe the party line, and he got put on a death list and had to flee to Switzerland (interestingly, along with the aforementioned obnoxious friend) even while the Third Reich publicly extolled him for something he never said.)

Projection can happen between individuals, or between groups. Basically, projection happens when whatever it is about oneself that one least wants to deal with, seems to show up in exaggerated form in other people, where one can safely handle it. One can even have "positive" projections that still have negative results (I have known two women who suppressed artistic talent in themselves, who developed wild, irrational passions for artist boyfriends, both of which affairs ended badly, because they never did love the real person, only their fantasy projected onto the other.)

What is it about gays that provokes prejudice? In some cases repressed homosexual feelings incite the gay-basher. I do have to wonder about those guys who beat up Matthew Shepherd, because witnesses say that they flirted with him, and egged him on to flirt with them. They claimed that they did so just to lure him out to where they could beat him up, but I wonder to what extent they lied to themselves about that, and then had to back up their self-lying with action?

But that's not the only projection that gays receive. Another is religious projection. Nobody perfectly follows the tenants of their own religion. Few people want to face this inevitable fact. That's when we go looking for someone that we can feel holier than, to play the "At least I'm not..." game. For awhile gluttons made pretty big targets, because that's the one vice that nobody can conceal--but with so many of us overweight, that's kind of hard to carry off these days. So the projection target has to violate a rule that doesn't appeal to most people.

The Biblical ban on homosexuality hardly even registers in comparison to graver matters, yet people blow it way out of proportion in importance simply because most folks can indeed say, "At least I don't do that." The original prohibition appears in the Bible right alongside a ban on wearing blended fabrics. (Try getting people heated up about that one!) A few later references come up, but not many, and they seem primarily aimed at ritual, political, institutional, or social homosexual acts, where a straight person goes against his own orientation to get ahead in the world. But never mind that Jesus and the saints and prophets had much more important issues to worry about, we don't want to face the fact that we all break rules, so we look for a rulebreaker to demonize who does something we don't. Most gay-bashers cuss, fornicate, drink themselves stupid, cheat in matters small and great, and can't remember the last time they set foot in a church, but they'll roll up their sleeves to punish this one transgression that they usually can't even find in the Bible by themselves, left unmentioned in the Ten Commandments and all four Gospels.

Much fear of admitting to imperfection, in the Christian community at least, comes from the most horribly mistranslated verse in the Bible, when one of St. John's letters says, "You must be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Then, to really trap people in a neurosis-generating double bind, the very next line says, "He who claims to be without sin is a liar." Except that's not what the original text actually said. In the original Greek, it said, "You must be complete, even as your Father in heaven is complete. He who claims to be without sin is a liar." In other words, own up to the totality of who you are, warts and all.

The problem was that the Latin Vulgate, into which St. Jerome translated the Bible (kicking and screaming the whole way, and protesting that the inadequacies of the Vulgate "forces me to commit a heresy on every page!") has only one word to cover both "complete" and "perfect". Human beings seem to perversely gravitate towards whatever makes life most difficult, I guess, but for some reason translators into English and other European languages opted to understand the word as meaning "perfect". The resultant unbearable paradox generated plenty of neurosis in need of some sort of projection to alleviate the pressure. (It didn't help that the translators of the King James Bible bowed to the King's nervousness about folks gossiping over his alleged bisexuality. Thus, when he wanted to show himself tough on sexual irregularity, they translated as "abomination" a word closer to "nasty".)

So how do we fight prejudice? First by recognizing it as a neurosis, not a conscious choice. Bigots simply act out the societal sickness. Second, we cure the neurosis by becoming complete--owning up to all that we are, warts and all, with disarming self-honesty. What we face fearlessly within ourselves we need not project on anyone else. Setting an example of rectitude, thus, encourages others to honestly face their own Shadow-side and reduces the need to project onto others. It also saves a whole lot of energy normally wasted on trying to maintain a perfect facade to ourselves and others.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

Tol Eressea

Oct 13 2008, 9:33pm

Post #13 of 17 (98 views)
A very... [In reply to] Can't Post

interesting piece. Thanks!

Do you think that the vast majority of those affected by such neurosis would be willing to concede this? I am pretty much in complete agreement with this,
"First by recognizing it as a neurosis, not a conscious choice. Bigots simply act out the societal sickness. Second, we cure the neurosis by becoming complete--owning up to all that we are, warts and all, with disarming self-honesty. What we face fearlessly within ourselves we need not project on anyone else. Setting an example of rectitude, thus, encourages others to honestly face their own Shadow-side and reduces the need to project onto others. It also saves a whole lot of energy normally wasted on trying to maintain a perfect facade to ourselves and others. "

I think the fear of conceding this or tackling these issues head on is such a fear......a fear of many things including change.....and we all know how many people can't 'deal' with change.
Great article.....enlightening and thought-provoking. Thanks again Dreamdeer.

What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"


Oct 13 2008, 11:47pm

Post #14 of 17 (95 views)
Thanks, Donry! [In reply to] Can't Post


As for whether people can concede as much, probably not just for the asking. But the more that we foster an atmosphere that encourages and supports self-honesty, in ourselves and others, the more prejudice will drop away.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

Tol Eressea

Oct 15 2008, 8:44pm

Post #15 of 17 (81 views)
Sometimes things just happen... [In reply to] Can't Post

for a reason....stumbled upon this story at work....looking for pertinent stories to use for the night and it brought back this thread right away. It's a link, as I didn't want to paste the whole thing...anyway here it is...

What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"


Oct 15 2008, 9:46pm

Post #16 of 17 (93 views)
Cooking helps, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember when I worked at the hospital, when I began training a new guy as one of my transcribers, a very kind, hardworking, good man whose every move and word shouted "Gay!" You could feel the tension in the office waiting for another employee, an outspoken Church Lady of a most fundamentalist persuasion, to come back from sick leave. As it so happened, he was of Austrian descent and she was of African descent--but they both came from Louisiana! So as soon as she did show up he immediately started talking Cajun and Creole recipes, and they got to chattering away happily. I knew things would work out okay when she clasped his arm and said, "Girl, you just know you've got to use butter in that--nothing else will work!" Somehow the joys of swapping recipes with him had, in her mind, settled him into a niche normally reserved for female coworkers, so that his occasional references to "My late husband" didn't even register as outside the mainstream.

You just take whatever common ground you can find, and run with it. Like your article said, the "issue" doesn't have to be front and center all the time.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

Aunt Dora Baggins

Oct 16 2008, 9:03pm

Post #17 of 17 (101 views)
Putting a face on a label. [In reply to] Can't Post

I love that story, Dreamdeer. I remember when I was ten my family watched "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" on PBS, and I rightly had nightmares for years, and wrongly found myself judging modern Germans a bit because of it, even though I have a lot of German ancestry myself. Then one day when I was sixteen I met a gangly boy with a mop of blond hair at the folk dance, and found myself kissing a German. He was my first crush, and though it didn't work out, it helped me get past that prejudice. (My second boyfriend was Iranian. But I have to admit that while people from other cultures make wonderful friends, it's a whole lot easier to be lovers with someone from the same culture, and it was a lot easier to communicate with Uncle Baggins, who grew up only an hour away from where I did.)

It's so important to see people as individuals. That helps break down the barriers more effectively than anything else I can think of.

And your story made me smile, because when I was in high school, there were two gay boys in our circle of girls, and one of them said one day, "Oh, just think of me as one of the girls." :-)

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com


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