Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Religion and Politics

Never being one to shrink away from controversial subjects, I've discussed politics, sex and religion before. Today I want to combine two of them.

The Religious Left
Most of you know I was brought up Catholic, and to a large degree, I developed a very strong spirituality in practicing that religion. When I reached adulthood, I realized that my relationship with God was a very personal thing, and explored as many different options in spirituality as I could find.

What I found (which is no big discovery), is that being a good person and living within my own concepts of personal integrity is all that is necessary to live a fully satisfying life. For me, this does include prayer, meditation, charity, honesty and integrity and a slew of other values I hold dear.

Despite a majority of citizens who passionately care about important issues, I see this country as a place which includes increased levels of capital punishment, polarized populations of very rich and very poor, healthcare needs that have raised our infant mortality rates to embarrassing levels, a failing penal system with a recidivism rate that is untenable, a government awash in self-serving corruption and a hawkish desire for war. I can't help but ask myself, "Has this country lost all sense about its purpose as spiritual beings?"

I don't have any issues about mixing God and politics, but when the elimination of the separation of church and state bring us to a time where we're more concerned with abortion than feeding our poor, or executing our criminals than helping our children grow up to be educated, productive citizens, my frustration is beyond description.

I urge you as progressives or as democrats, or even as conservative republicans, to be thinking people when it involves our society at large. To take as much action as you are able to make this country be a place of promise, and one that meets your own personal ideals of integrity and love.

Current Knitting
I finished picking up all the stitches for the border of the Accidental Shawl, and until I cast off and block this sucker, a decent picture will be hard to get.

It turns out that I only had to pick up 822 stitches. I used an approximation to determine how many to pick up based on the number of rows. If I end up with a ruffle instead of a flat border, I will be more forethoughtful next time.

Other Fiber-Related Activity
This past weekend, I finished sandwiching and basting the second of the two pillow tops. I also started the machine stitching for the three straight seams I have to sew, but the bobbin ran out in the middle of the first row of sewing.

This weekend I'll try my hand at hand quilting. I will try stitching on a swatch first.

The quilting guru, Liza Prior-Lucy, has offered her services to show me how to do this, but I have decided that the back of the first pillow is so dreadfully messed up, that I'd prefer to hide my shame, and use this whole project as a learning episode. They're only pillows fergodsake, so I'm not concerned that my stitching be perfect.

New Fiber Site
Reader Mama-e, has set up a new site to allow folks to display, sell, give away, or swap their stash. I thought the idea was an interesting one, although why someone would want to de-stash is beyond me.

Check out her site here.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Franklin writes, "Please, enough with the spinning. You are giving me Wheel Lust."

Sarah is right dear, it's a lot easier to just give in. Just borrow a wheel, or see if you can rent one. You know you have thousands of adoring readers who would be glad to send your roving from their stash. Now how could the be bad....When I count to three, you will be wide awake, wide awake and feeling refreshed...1...2...3.