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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    • Anew October 19, 2016
      The following words of author and poet Julia Cameron are particularly meaningful to me at this time, for reasons which I'll share in a later post. Perhaps these words will resonate with you too, and where you're at on your journey.All beginning is an ending. I both celebrate and grieve. As I choose to start anew, I choose to believe in my own resil […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • An Autumn Afternoon at Minnehaha Falls October 16, 2016
      I spent much of this afternoon with my friend Kyle at Minnehaha Falls in south Minneapolis. We followed Minnehaha Creek from the Falls to the place where it flows into the Mississippi River. It was almost a year ago when, with my friend PJ, I made the same trek from the Falls to the River.Today's trek took place under an overcast sky. It was nevertheles […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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      Leaving tomorrow for eight weeks of summer camp with Czech kids, first in the forests of Krivoklat, then the beautiful rolling hills of Moravia.I do have a week off, when I hope to head for the Tatras mountains in Slovakia, and a few days of retreat at the lovely Marian shrine of Litmanova, on the border with Poland.
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    • Orlando Update June 29, 2016
      Omar Mateen as seen in a documentary film.  Photo credit: James Varty / The Big Fix / YouTubeI will preface this brief update to my previous posting on the Orlando shooting with these wise words from Russ Baker of Who What Why. Org. Somewhere between the rush to judgment that is the neatly packaged mainstream version of events in Orlando, and the wilder meme […]
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      - For Trump, the Election Is Rigged If a “Nasty Woman” Can Win- 'Nasty': A Feminist History - Trump insult late in debate inspires hilarious ‘Nasty Woman’ fragrance ad
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My Friend Jesus – No, the One in Prison Awaiting Deportation

My friend, an undocumented immigrant, was arrested for driving to work without a license he cannot legally obtain. With no public transportation available, he was risking his freedom, like millions of others, working to support his family AND paying taxes through taxpayer ID numbers, fake social security numbers, sales taxes and as a consumer of services which pay taxes, with no hope of ever receiving any government benefits.

He is one of the thousands of secondary victims of 9/11 suffering abrogation of the same civil and human rights upon which this country was founded when torture, extraordinary rendition, arrest, imprisonment, surveillance and harassment without judicial process became the standard of our government.

He is also one of the millions of victims of war profiteers who immediately saw the financial benefits of 9/11 and invested their billions in “anti-terrorist” industries and paraphernalia used to capture bus boys, maids and farm workders. And he is a victim of the voracious greed of those whose pillaging of private enterprise was not enough and are now privatizing government functions for profit, also.

He was arrested and detained with no regard for his civil rights and the due process which Americans used to hold as a sacred trust and was finally moved to the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, owned and operated by the Corrections Corporation of America.

One thing became very clear as I followed the path of my friend, Jesús, through the “system.”

Same-sex marriage is truly a basic human right which should not be left to individual states and voters to decide. Whether immigration officials are considering release, probation, a bond or deportation for arrestees, (or granting visas or residency to entrants), a legal marriage – that is, one’s permanent ties to the community – weighed heavily in that decision. If an official marriage matters for immigrants, it must matter for an entire array of other legal considerations as well.

Also on my mind during this time is the shocking hypocrisy of the Catholic bishops. What would this country be like if – instead of spending their billions and directing their vast army of agencies, including the ones they secretly control, on a “religious freedom” campaign to energize Republican voters by eradicating more freedoms for women and the LGBT population – they spent the same resources (not just lip service) on real liberty and human rights for immigrants, African-Americans, women, gays, the poor and the sick?

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