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Slagging on the Olympics is a good way to make people think you’re a kook. Nobody likes a party pooper, especially one at a worldwide pageantry that’s bringing 82 nations together in peaceful competition. It’s definitely not in keeping with the nebulous concept of “Olympic Spirit,” which is, let’s face it, only rich in sentiment.

Nevertheless, such sentiment serves as a convenient rallying cry for corporations that stand to profit from the rapacious development of Olympic venues and public consumption of events, schwag and advertisements. It’s a feel-good moneymaker. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Unmarriage until gay marriage, no marriage until gay marriage.”

That is the phrase that will chime through the streets, Feb 14th in central park. Rev. Billy and his gospel choir are at it again. This time they are inviting married couples to unmarry. Ditch the vows. Shed the rings. No marriage until all can marry.

A mass ceremony, conducted by Rev. Billy himself, will unmarry those who are standing up for the rights of the gay community. Is this really official? I don’t know if you can actually unmarry, but who says you are married anyways? Or what defines marriage since it varies from culture to culture and religion to religion? It seems unconvincing that by a simple ceremony you are deemed fit to cohabit until death, produce offspring, receive certain tax breaks and share toothpaste.

My cousin and her partner are sincerely committed to each other, have lived together for ten years and have never participated in any sort of ceremony that declares them legally married. Then there are those who have grand ceremonies declaring their commitment and love for each other and they don’t make it past raised toilette seats and maxed-out visa cards. If a ceremony is so trivial in both these instances why is it being withheld from same-sex couples?

Unlike Canada, there are still states in our neighbor country where gay marriage is illegal. For details about same-sex marriage in the U.S. see here. Same-sex marriage has been legal everywhere in Canada since July, 2005.

I don’t know what I think of the whole thing as you can see from the scads of question marks. If you are like me and have more questions than answers you can check out freedomtomarry.org and see what questions they are answering. – megan kamei, editorial assistant

I asked Aiden what his thoughts were and here is what he said:

I like the references to your cousin and other attitudes to the marriage ceremony, but I’m left with the feeling that you think it’s just a ceremony and not a powerful institution of control: of men over women, of dominant culture over those who don’t choose partners of the opposite sex. I look at how institutions attain, retain and abuse power. In the case of the institution of marriage, it’s a very tangible expression of the “family values” that are so problematic for many people. Feminists, women who suffer, singles, childless couples, men who don’t identify as heterosexual, young people who are dating: each of these (and other) important groups of people are invited (often coerced) into conformity, at the cost of their humanity and the loss of diversity in our community. – Aiden Enns, editor

Have questions about the church? I know I do. Is the church really living up to the example Jesus gave? I don’t have all the answers, heck no one has all the answers. But a good starting point is to start talking about it. Roy Peters, a friend of Geez, is doing just that. Read on to hear some of his thoughts on church. – megan kamei, editorial assistant

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When I was in the Geez office a couple of weeks ago I asked Aiden why he was a vegetarian. His answer included nutrition, compassion and something about connectedness. It got me thinking about eating meat. The more I thought about it the more my chicken drumstick became unappetizing. Meat was grossing me out and I grew up on a cattle farm. What would my parents say? Read the rest of this entry »

All I wanted to do was get some groceries, a bite to eat and then head back to the Geez office for a board meeting. I had conquered the grocery-getting and was working on satisfying the rumbling in my stomach when my oh-so-simple plan was interrupted.

Yesterday at Safeway an older woman in a navy windbreaker, sweatpants, neon skirt and torn sneakers shuffled her way around the tables by the Starbucks station. She held out her hand that contained a quarter and a dime to a guy enjoying a coffee and a newspaper. He looked up at her with wide eyes and then furrowed brow as he tried to make out her slurred words and muffled sounds. He soon looked back at his newspaper and the woman became invisible.

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If you’re a Geez reader and still like shiny things, including Oprah’s O magazine, you’re not alone. Trudy J. Morgan-Cole, a blogger from Newfoundland is your friend. She writes, 

These two magazines sit uneasily on my coffee table together, as if they’re the two hemispheres of my brain — different, yet each necessary. Not that they’re the right and left hemispheres — politically, the editorial slants of both O and Geez could easily be labelled “left” though Geez is certainly more radical. O resides in a comfortable, well-decorated corner of the political left, sort of like the American Democratic party, while Geez is camped outside in the parking lot in a cardboard box. [See full entry here.]  

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Geez 10

Finally, the sermon issue is here. We had about 120 entries, which, in terms of sheer volume, was a brutal amount to read. On the positive side, though, this was a great way to get under the cranium and sternum of our readers and contributors. You can see the contest winners here and see the preview of the issue here. – Aiden Enns, publisher, Geez