Happening in Kansas City
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Is there anyone who better understands the full measure of continuing discrimination against LGBT people ? from the family to the workplace ? and who writes about it with such passion as Dr. Robert Minor?
His earlier books, Scared Straight: Why It?s So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It?s So Hard to Be Human and Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society, have helped readers understand the origins of prejudice, how all forms of oppression share a common root and how everyone, whatever his or her sexual identification, is demeaned by having to play a role in our society, rather than encouraged to discover the richness of one?s own being.
Through his books Minor furthers insights of the late international human liberation leader Charlie Kreiner, who was unable to publish much during his short lifetime but affected many of us in Kansas City during six or eight workshops when we brought him here or when we went to his workshops on the coasts.
In his new book, When Religion is an Addiction, Minor, professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas, tackles the religious right by questioning a typical strategy of the religious left to seek common ground. Minor quotes Robert Frost: ?A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.?
Minor says liberals eschew the sound-bite type of communication he associates with ?right-wingers,? and doubts that liberal attempts at nuance often succeed in such religious contests.
As an example, Minor opens Chapter 7 by citing a certain religious ?liberal? who writes ?a popular column for a mainstream daily newspaper.? That?s me, writing each Wednesday in _The Kansas City Star._ He says I was ?no . . .match? on a local public TV station against a ?right-wing minister of a suburban mega-church [who> had grabbed the [local and national"> spotlight by pushing a successful amendment to his state?s constitution to ban marriage equality for gay citizens.? That?s the Rev. Jerry Johnston with me on KCPT.
Minor says ?the columnist? had his facts straight, his arguments were cogent and his preparation included biblical material. The columnist ?was polite, reasoned and inoffensive to everyone. And, as a progressive friend of mine commented, the right-winger ate him alive,? Minor reports.
I?m not sure I have the objectivity to judge whether what Minor calls Johnston?s ?arrogant and condescending? authoritarian tone was more appealing to the viewers than the ?nice? tone of yours truly.
What I do know is that Minor rightly raises questions that trouble many of us. When you are called a fag, does it make sense to tolerate the person hurling that epithet hatefully or even threateningly? How can a tolerant person accept intolerance? How do we respond to those who want to use government to enforce their own religious views on everyone else? Or perhaps more important, how do we not respond to the right-wingers and instead focus our attention on those who are actually open to hearing about marriage equality or whatever our issues might be?
Minor intensifies his criticism of liberals by calling them ?enablers? of those addicted to the high that comes from thinking one is absolutely right in matters of faith.
He draws a parallel to family and friends of alcoholics who cover up or excuse the problem, enabling the alcoholic to deny the addiction. A liberal who declines to point out religious addiction because of respect for all religious perspectives is an ?enabler.?
Many serious studies support Minor?s analysis that religion can be addictive and destructive not only to the fanatic but also to those who fail to challenge toxic faith.
As for that columnist, well, would it be too liberal for him to write that while he respects Minor?s viewpoint, the columnist wonders if it is possible to build upon a sense of the sacred even with right-wingers?
Part of me says no, part says yes.
On one hand, you often cannot reason with an addict or sustain a relationship of mutuality. Rather than feeding the addict with attention, your energy can be more constructive elsewhere.
On the other hand, the goal is not just to win an argument but to win a friend and move civilization forward. Otherwise we become addicted ourselves.
Minor?s book prepares us to make the right interventions.
The Rev. Vern Barnet, DMn., does consulting, teaching and writing for religious and educational organizations here. His Kansas City Star column appears
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
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· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
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Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.