Why has there been a 7-week hiatus in this blog? I had a series of appointments with a variety of doctors, resumed my weekly Bible Study group, attended several political rallies, and went to the annual Gay Pride parade and festival in Durham in Sept. I posted photos of the parade on Facebook. In Oct. I’ve spent the month recuperating from hip replacement surgery. I spent 3 days in the hospital, a week in re-hab, and 2 ½ weeks at home. I really haven’t even read much and have survived just performing the usual activities of daily living plus daily exercises. I’ve pretty much just slept most of the past month in dealing with pain and weakness. I’ve fed the daily email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, but that’s been the limit of my activity online. So much for excuses.
In the meantime, North Carolina has achieved gay marriage through a recent court ruling, the airways have been saturated with negative political ads, and ISIS and Ebola have stoked the national panic. We’re now one of 20 states offering that recognition. The Raleigh LGBT Center hosted its annual awards banquet with recognition of several outstanding volunteers and activists. The HRC hosted its annual awards dinner in Washington, DC with lots of national press coverage. Within the past week, the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church has upheld the re-instatement of the credentials of Rev. Frank Schaefer, and the North Carolina and Western North Carolina chapters of the Reconciling Ministries Network hosted a successful conference in Greensboro. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend so can’t offer a first-hand report and didn’t get to see Bishop Talbert speak.
So while I sat on the sidelines, the worlds of gay rights, equality, and action have boomed with significant advances in many fields. So is there anything to hinder this burst of optimism? Yes, the radical right continues to propose reactionary legislation, media pundits and preachers still make ridiculous homophobic public statements just to gain notoriety, and the mood of the nation is generally cautious about our economic future. It’s like the economy is on hold until November 4th. I will be glad the daily panic email appeals from the Democratic Senate Congressional Committee finally will cease, and that I will be able to turn on the TV without Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan attacking each other continually. We still don’t have any employment non-discrimination legislation in North Carolina or in the Congress, and it appears unlikely to come up before 2016.
I hope to be back to driving again this week and more engaged in the community and to become more of a participant rather than just a spectator.