Tag Archives: Heckle

It was bound to happen

downloadJust about every time I go out and talk, I invite people to come heckle. I’m mostly joking, but yesterday, someone took me up on it.

Well, he didn’t precisely heckle. He waited until after I’d spoken, and then he called me jaded — three times — and said that he was a fundamentalist and his church isn’t like my old church. He wasn’t from my particular branch of fundamentalism, and he’d felt I’d been too hard on the group as a whole.

It was a fair critique. I am hard on fundamentalism and I reiterated that my exposure to fundamentalism comes through one very peculiar portal, but then he wouldn’t quit talking and I could feel my hackles go up, and when he fake-quoted a scripture to prove a point, I asked him for book, chapter, and verse, which he did not provide. That, as a champeen fundamentalist debater, means you’re making shit up. (I believe he was trying to prove that Jesus was anti-homosexuality, but that’s not possible because Jesus didn’t say one single word about homosexuality; instead, my sparring partner misquoted Paul). He interjected a couple more times, and at one point said that women in his church (he said the name of it, but I forgot) can be anything they want, everything but a senior pastor, at which point I asked if any one else had something to say, because if he couldn’t see the issue with “everything but a senior pastor,” I couldn’t help him.

I did tell him I thought he was proselytizing, and that no one had come for that, but that I very much wanted to talk to him and that we should talk after.

Sadly, when I was finished, I looked around and he was gone.

Brother? I am sorry. I’m sorry you didn’t feel welcome to talk face-to-face, and if there was something in my tone or my language that sent you out the door, I wish I’d been a better person and answered you with at least a little love. I believe, in reviewing the tape, I mostly just waited for you to stop talking so that I could start. Mostly, I wanted you to stay behind so we could argue. I love to argue. But in the end, we accomplished precisely nothing, you and I. You can go back to your corner secure in the notion that I’m a jaded non-Christian, and I can tuck myself in at night having had you reaffirm for me the stiff-necked nature of my people.

I am not happy with that. Are you? I’d still really like to talk and I’ll make you this promise: I will try like anything to listen.


If you’ve nothing better to do…

wooden-lectern-for-hire…I’m speaking about activism at St. James Episcopal Church in West Hartford at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Mark your calendars and: Come! Heckle!

If you’ve nothing better to do…

Wooden-lectern-for-hire…I’m speaking about activism at St. James Episcopal Church in West Hartford at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.

Mark your calendars and: Come! Heckle!

If you’ve nothing better to do…

images (1)I am speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Society: East at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The topic will be growing up fundamentalist, but don’t worry: I’ll only talk for 20 minutes each time. Come! Heckle!

If you’ve nothing better to do…

for-rent-sign…Listen to John Dankosky’s “Where We Live” at 9 a.m. on Friday as we talk about — what else? — the high cost of renting in Connecticut. I wrote about this earlier for the station’s website. and now we’re going to delve deeper into the topic, with the expert guidance of Katy Shafer of Partnership for Strong Communities, Betsy Crum, of Connecticut Housing Coalition, and Nick Lundgren, of the state Dept. of Housing.

Here are some more housing and homelessness stories. Cool, huh?

Listen! Call in! Heckle!

UPDATE: No you did not miss the show, because here it is.

If you’ve nothing better to do…

9780819573407…I’m talking about Isabella Beecher Hooker at 11 a.m. Saturday at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Beardsley & Memorial Library in beautiful Winsted.

Yes, it’s supposed to be beautiful Saturday, but Winsted’s worth the drive. Hope to see you there. Come heckle!

This is the last week of the 100-day challenge

Since March, actSalPinnaHuggingSaraCapenSalomonsivists, advocates, policy makers, legislators, and folks who want to do something awesome have devoted the last 100 days to open 100 homes for people who desperately need them. People have put in insane hours and moved insurmountable mountains to make sure people like Sal, Jack, and Shannon now have a place to call their own.

The numbers look good — incredible, in fact.

We’ll catch you up on how things turned out on WNPR’s “Where We Live” at 9 a.m. next Tuesday, June 23. You can listen here.

Guests will include Lisa Tepper Bates, executive director of Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness; Matt Morgan, executive director of Journey Home (the 100-day lead agency) and none other than Sal Pinna, a man who was recently housed after 20 years on the streets. (That’s him hugging Sara Capen Salomons, of Journey Home, the day he found out he got an apartment.)

Understand that the 100-day challenge may end, but the work goes on. During this time, a new emergency response system has been formed. Barriers have been torn down. It is a brand new day and a brand new system.

Call in! Listen! Heckle!