Category Archives: Religion
What does it mean to be American? This is a question perhaps better pondered from beyond America’s borders than from inside them. The mantras of our common story tell us some: the opportunities, the plenty, the melting pot. But this is a flexible definition, and what it means to be American — the way we look at ourselves and the ways we are perceived by others — is not static.
The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was an event that shook the globe, causing people from around the world to reevaluate this question. On the international political scene, this seems to have benefited us, gaining us some traction in terms of popularity and renewed influence, as well as a general sense of benevolence toward what was seen as the correct choice. And we, as Americans, seem to like this latest version of ourselves reflected in this historical decision.
However, another portentous result transpired November 4, 2008. While one political tide continued its turn that started during the Midterms two years ago, a competing undertow dragged us back out to sea. Three states, most infamously California, voted to add same-sex marriage bans to their books, bringing the total of states with similar legislation to thirty. While America with one hand demonstrated itself to be surprisingly broadminded — getting back to the business of being American, many seemed to think — with the other hand it showed that there are still American citizens who are not welcome to the equal treatment that our national ethos would have us believe. Continue reading
My good friend, and yoga teacher, Sarah Court, was recently featured in a New York Times article by Abby Ellin called The Enlightened Path, With A Rubber Duck. Sarah is a serious and passionate yoga teacher who knows how to laugh and play and poke fun a little. Check out her Yoga Thug videos as proof. Today, she’s ON THE COUCH WITH KIMMI:
Every October, churches around the world celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assissi, patron saint of animals and environment. You can imagine what this looks like in New York City. I had been waiting all year for it.
Two reasons why this feast delighted me: Continue reading
Bob Herbert has a fantastic column in the New York Times today in which he reminds us of the tremendous accomplishments of “liberal” America. Women’s rights? Check. Advocates for special needs children like Trig? Check. Safer food, cleaner air, better schools? Check, check and check.
Our country is far from perfect on these issues but the progress we’ve made is often due to liberals who were willing to sacrifice for ideals that are now being taken taken for granted (at best) and co-opted for political gain (at worst) by the Republican party.
Sometimes it is easy to think of liberals as living in la-la land and to forget all that liberals have given America.
Herbert’s column reminded me of one of my first classes in graduate school. I came to Harvard to study issues related to access and persistence in higher education for low-income students (how to help more poor kids enroll and succeed in college). When I got there, I felt like I was the last liberal standing.