Desiring a Refreshing Wind

by Rev. Fred L Hammond
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tuscaloosa 16 May 2010 ©

Reading from the Christian Scriptures: The Acts of the Apostles chapter 2:1-8

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?”

Just over one hundred years ago on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, a group of men and women gathered to pray in a revival.  This was an old fashion, bible thumping, hands up in the air, glory hallelujah kind of revival.  And then something happened.  People began to speak in what sounded like strange languages. But what also was unique is that this revival in 1906 was integrated. One account reports, “African-Americans, Latinos, whites, and others prayed and sang together, creating a dimension of spiritual unity and equality, almost unprecedented for the time.[1]

This event is heralded as the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in the Christian church.  From this beginning several Pentecostal denominations were born, such as the Assemblies of God, Church of God, and Pentecostal Holiness Church.  Pentecostalism is rivaled only by Islam as being the fastest growing faith in the world today.

Now there is one major difference between what happened on Azusa Street and what happened in the Christian text we just heard (Acts 2).  The difference is this: each one heard them speaking in his own language.    In Pentecostalism and in the Charismatic Movement that occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s, people who heard others speaking in tongues could not understand each other unless the hearers were supernaturally graced to do so.

There is only one place that I know of where people speak in other tongues and others are able to understand them.  That place, my friends, is right here in a Unitarian Universalist Congregation.   And it is a gift that we often fail to cultivate to its fullest potential.

What am I talking about?  Did I suddenly say words that seem incomprehensible?  I am going to do what many Pentecostal ministers do when preaching and refer back to the text of the day.   The text states that when all of these Jews who came from all over the known world to worship in Jerusalem heard the disciples speak, they heard them speak in their own language and were amazed.   The men and women, who had gathered still in grief over the death of their teacher, began to speak in words that others could hear and understand.

And who are we?  We are a people who gather together professing no specific creed.  Right here in this congregation we have people who profess a Christian faith, a Hindu faith, a Jewish faith, an atheist faith, a pagan faith, or possibly a New Thought faith.  We are a diverse people who speak many different tongues.  Yet here we are, covenanting together to create a community that welcomes, promotes our differences.   We have chosen to dialogue together about our various creeds so that when we meet a person who has a creed that is different than our own, we can be open and affirming with that person.  Because we have learned, some better than others, to hear those beliefs and creeds in our own language and at the same time honor the unique differences of their faith.

My spiritual journey includes the Catholic Charismatic movement.  And I remember prayer meetings where softly in one section a person would begin to sing in tongues, and then another, and another.  Suddenly the whole room would be singing, some would seem to have a melody line, and others carried the harmonies.  The voices would rise and fall easily like waves on the ocean.  And then as if conducted by an unseen maestro, the singing would stop.   It was a very beautiful experience of harmony.   But one can only have harmony if different notes are being sung.

And here we are, singing our song together, a Humanist voice joining with a Hindu voice, a Christian voice, and a Pagan voice.  And what is more, we are coming together in understanding.  We understand that each of us is needed to make the beloved community.

Several years ago when I was in San Diego, I served as coordinator for an anti-war initiative called Faith Leaders for Peace[2].  It was an initiative with 75 clergy from various faiths which sponsored events to support the end of the Iraqi and Afghani wars.  We held two interfaith services during my time there, one on the anniversary of the Iraqi war and one on Memorial Day.  The services were coordinated by Unitarian Universalists.   We know how to do interfaith services.  We know how to include voices that on the surface might seem to have disparity and find the common thread that weaves us together.  At the same time we know how to honor the differences of those threads.

A comment frequently heard from those who do not understand this aspect of our faith, is how are we held together as a community when we are diverse theologically?  Ask any weaver and you will hear that silk is spun from the most delicate of threads made by the silk worm and yet when woven together is a strong fabric.   And so too are the threads of diversity that creates our faith of Unitarian Universalism.

In honoring the diversity of beliefs within our hallowed walls we have discovered that diversity of beliefs adds to our humanity and understanding of life.  We have discovered that it is our diversity that makes us stronger spiritually and gives us increased insight into the mystery we call life.

Later this month, Buddhists will be celebrating Buddha Day. It is a day to honor the life of the Buddha. There is one story that the Buddha told that reflects this truth of diverse perspectives.

Four blind men were asked to describe an elephant.  One blind man felt the legs of the elephant and said, the elephant was like four huge trees, sturdy and strong.  A second man felt the side of the elephant and said, No that is not so, the elephant is like a huge wall, tall and wide.   A third man after feeling the trunk of the Elephant said, No you are mistaken, the elephant is like a snake, able to coil and strike.  The fourth man after feeling the tail said, you are all wrong; the elephant is like a whip.  The Buddha said that we are like the four blind men only able to see from our perspective but not able to see the whole.

Several years ago, when I asked a religious education class to draw the pictures the blind men described in order to draw an elephant, the result was a very silly looking picture.  Something was still missing of what an elephant looks like.

We have this understanding of truth that our individual perspectives are valid and yet only when we combine them can we even begin to gain a glimpse of the whole.   Yet, we also know that even combining our perspectives might still lead to a distorted and perhaps silly picture of what the elephant of truth might look like.   It is this perspective that needs to be heard in our land today because we know that in dialogue, in using all of our gifts that the hard rough boundaries of these images begin to soften and transform allowing the true essence and shape of the elephant to come into focus.

It is not only the ability to understand and bridge the diverse theology in this nation that Unitarian Universalists are capable of providing.  We have an opportunity to assist this nation in embracing the diversity of ethnicities in our land as well.  Paula Cole Jones, UUA consultant spoke at the Mid-South District Annual Assembly and offered us this statistic.  “75% of people in this country aged 70 and above identify as white, 75% of people in this country aged 10 and younger identify as people of color.” This means that in our lifetimes America will become predominantly a non-white culture for the first time in its history.

Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman elected to Congress and first African American woman to run for president, once said, “We Americans have the chance to become someday a nation in which all racial stocks and classes can exist in their own selfhoods, but meet on a basis of respect and equality and live together, socially, economically, and politically. We can become a dynamic equilibrium, a harmony of many different elements, in which the whole will be greater than all its parts and greater than any society the world has seen before. It can still happen.”

Remember what happened at the Azusa Street revivals where African Americans, Latinos, and whites came together to pray in one worship service.  It was remarked as being unprecedented for the time.  Sunday mornings at 11 AM is still considered the most segregated hour in America.  Now this integration did not last because William Seymour, the African American minister of Azusa Street, had as his mentor Charles Parham a white minister from the segregated south who thought this integration was an abomination. Parham sought to divide the congregation which he did effectively; the result was the formation of predominantly black Pentecostal and predominantly white Pentecostal denominations in the Pentecostal movement.

There was for a brief moment during that 1906 revival for whatever else it may have represented religiously, a dissolving of racial tensions.  It was an opportunity that others, specifically Parham and his ilk, could not condone nor accept.   At this point in our American history we seem to be at a similar fork in the road. One road leads to a broader appreciation of our multi-cultural diversity where ethnicities other than Anglo will be the majority by 2030 or there about.  The other road leads to increased polarization, increased racist behavior, increased attempts for white supremacy to rule.

With the passage of two laws in Arizona and a third bill working its way up the legislature, it seems that some people in this country want to travel down the road leading to increased polarization and increased racist behavior.   Other states are already looking to follow Arizona’s lead.

The Arizona governor may protest that the new immigration law does not target native and Latino descent people but that argument falls silent in light of their other new law which is a blatant attack on two cultures of our citizens.  This new law states that teaching ethnic studies are to be banned and that teachers who speak with an accent will be banned from teaching English. The reason given for banning the courses is because they “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

First, this country was founded on the principle of overthrowing an oppressive government; it is written into our Declaration of Independence.  The closest we came to doing this in the United States was during the civil war.  A war that did not successfully end the racial oppression in this country yet is representative of this principle.   Since this war we generally have sought other means to over turn injustices through an election to remove the officials not representing the will of the people or Supreme Court rulings. But it is a people’s right to change the government that is oppressive to the liberties that are fundamentally endowed to us.

Second, understanding the place in history a group of people played in shaping our country is important.  Arizona, like many states in the southwest was once part of Mexico and before that belonged to the native peoples.  How Arizona came to be a United States territory was through the Mexican- American war of 1846-1848.   Texas had laid claims to the northern territories of Mexico when it declared independence from Mexico ten years earlier.  So when the US annexed Texas, we sent troops into the territories that Texas claimed, including parts of Arizona.  Mexican Americans even though technically citizens as of 1848 were not recognized as citizens for decades.  Their allegiance to the United States remained under suspicion even after statehood was conferred to Arizona in 1912.   This is the albeit brief history that Arizona no longer wants taught to its Mexican American citizens in its ethnic studies because it places Anglo America in a bad light.

Our history is our history whether we agree with what our ancestors did or not, it is still our history.  Being aware of that history and how it shapes current attitudes and policies is important to an informed electorate.

Third, ethnic solidarity over individualism is a cultural moré of many Latino cultures therefore to ban a course that might emphasize community is a direct attack on a people’s heritage. Insisting that people are individuals and not part of an ethnic identity is a tactic that repressive regimes have used to break the hold of familial influences. Individualism and ethnic solidarity need not be opposing polarities.  Individualism may be as American as apple pie but it is not better than family or ethnic loyalty. It is simply a different perspective.

Fourth, the teachers who teach English but speak with accents, presumably Spanish accents, were initially hired as part of Arizona’s bi-lingual education program which ended in 2000.  Since they could not get rid of the teachers they transferred them to teach English and now the law to ban teachers who speak with accents. Sure there is a need to ensure that English teachers have a proficiency in English grammar but there are other ways to ensure this without targeting teachers with ‘accents.’  This law is a discriminatory way to remove Latino diversity from the public schools and increase hostility towards a specific population.

The new Arizona bill, SB1097,[3] which is winding its way up the legislative process, would mandate teachers to identify and report the students in their classrooms who are from undocumented families.  The rationale given is to document the true cost of teaching undocumented families’ children. All residents of Arizona regardless of status pay for public education through various property taxes. So this bill is not about undocumented students receiving services not paid for by their families. The result of this bill would move the teachers away from their primary function and make them informants for the immigration authorities.  The possibility exists for students to be harassed for not revealing their parents’ status and if the teachers do not believe them, false reporting may result. This will encourage students to drop out of school or not enroll in school in the first place increasing the possibility of unsupervised children on the streets.  We all know that unsupervised children will inadvertently find trouble and if the children are of a specific ethnicity already being targeted, what then?

Rev. Bill Sinkford several years ago commented on what he sees in Unitarian Universalism across this country.  He comments with joy the willingness of our congregations to tackle the real day to day life challenges from our pulpits.  He is thrilled with what he describes as the resurgence of reverence, awe, and gratitude for life as being markers for us towards becoming more of who we can be.

I believe it will take more than reverence, awe, and gratitude to make us more of who we can be.  Yes, these are powerful developments for us Unitarian Universalists.  However, I see our potential as being a powerful bridge over the great chasm that has cut through this nation.   We have an ability to offer our covenantal manner of being with each other honoring our diversities.

We can do what the revivals on Azusa Street began to do but were unable to complete and that is healing the racism in our land.   The healing of racism  on Azusa Street was only the temporary feel good kind of emotionalism.   We know that to heal racism in all its forms in this country will take more than just a feel good emotion that is fleeting.

At the recent Mid-South District Assembly, I proposed a resolution which stated in part, to “Resolve to urge our member congregations to engage in a robust dialog about how both legal and illegal immigration affects their local communities and to support efforts of the United States Congress to enact legislation that addresses, in an effective and compassionate way, the entire immigration issue, and further

“Resolve to urge Unitarian Universalists from local communities to the national level to develop creative ways to bear witness to our commitment to justice, equity and compassion for all, but particularly to the poor and powerless.”

We know to do this kind of work takes the skills to listen deeply to one another, especially to the hard truths that each of us has witnessed.  We know that to do this work means we must be in relationship with the other. We know that this work is transformative work where the whole person; the intellect, the emotions, and the spirit of the person are transformed towards acceptance of humanity’s diversity.   And we know that to reinforce the transformation of the person, the institutions have to be transformed.  To only touch the emotions does not make for lasting change.

We Unitarian Universalists have at our fingertips an understanding and appreciation of the world religions.   We need to become conversant in world religions so that we can share our faith of strength in diversity with others.   We need to have a better understanding of our multi-cultural and religiously pluralistic society.  We Unitarian Universalists have covenanted in our principles to seek this understanding.   We recognize the vast wisdom of the world religions as a source of our living tradition that nurtures our faith.

But to make an impact on our society in the 21st century, we as a people of faith must be willing to commit to a better understanding of these living traditions that feed our spirits.  We also need to commit to seek to be in relationship with those who still suffer under the racism that binds this nation in xenophobia in order to reveal that another way is possible.

We stand at the crossroads of a new day in America.  And what road we as Unitarian Universalists choose to follow will define us as a people of faith.   I believe our nation has a desire for a refreshing wind to accompany us on this road.    Unitarian Universalists have an opportunity to be a part of that refreshing wind of change that leads us to a place where we “meet on a basis of respect and equality and live together, socially, economically, and politically”.  Blessed Be.


[1] http://www.ag.org/enrichmentjournal/199904/026_azusa.cfm

[2] Faith Leaders for Peace was started by First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego and was an interfaith coalition of some 75 clergy from San Diego County.  I served as its coordinator.

[3] http://www.zimvi.com/?p=4351

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Mid South District Passes Resolution on Arizona Immigration Laws

Several districts across the country passed resolutions at their annual assemblies regarding the recent immigration law passed in Arizona and what Unitarian Universalists could do about it.   Mid South District held their annual assembly this past weekend in Dahlonega, GA.   The district passed a similar resolution to these other districts.  Here printed below is the resolution that passed.

Resolution of the Delegates to the 2010 Assembly of the Mid-South District

Whereas, the Governor of Arizona has signed legislation requiring state law enforcement officers to question persons about their status to legally  be in the state if there is a reasonable suspicion regarding the individual’s immigration status, and making it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork, and,

Whereas, the Legislature of Arizona has also passed legislation awaiting the governor’s signature banning the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools because such teaching might increase ethnic solidarity over individuality in regards to immigrants and banning teachers who speak with an accent from teaching English, and

Whereas, there is a well-founded belief that persons of Hispanic origin will be turned into suspects in their own communities as a result of these laws, regardless of their legal status and,

Whereas, other states,including states within the Mid-South District, are considering similar laws which will increase hostility towards immigrants, and

Whereas, Unitarian Universalists have as their core value the inherent worth and dignity of every person which requires that we work for an ideal society, which is strengthened by and benefits from the diverse cultures within our country, and in which all persons are treated with respect and fairness, and

Whereas, as a community of faith, Unitarian Universalists are committed to stand in solidarity with all those who oppose and seek to modify unjust and harmful laws,

We hereby resolve that the Mid-South District strongly objects to the final implementation and enforcement of these laws and encourages its member congregations to support all efforts to overturn these laws at the federal level through any and all administrative, legislative and judicial means available, and further

Resolve to urge our member congregations to engage in a robust dialog about how both legal and illegal immigration affects their local communities and to support efforts of the United States Congress to enact legislation that addresses, in an effective and compassionate way, the entire immigration issue, and further

Resolve to urge Unitarian Universalists from local communities to the national level to develop creative ways to bear witness to our commitment to justice, equity and compassion for all, but particularly to the poor and powerless, and further

The Mid-South District of the UUA supports the discussion of the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees’ resolution to relocate the General Assembly of the Association out of Arizona in June 2012 and their continuing efforts to work with UU congregations and other immigration entities in Arizona to effectively address this issue of human dignity and rights.

Boycott AZ ??

The General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association is currently scheduled to be in Phoenix, AZ in 2012.   The question has arisen in light of the recent draconian law passed that allows police to check the immigration status of people that they have a “reasonable suspicion” as being undocumented is whether or not the General Assembly should remain scheduled in Arizona for 2012. Should the UUA boycott the state because this new law and the bill that is awaiting the governor’s signature would ban ethnic studies and teachers who teach English with accents?

Add to this mix the  possibility of Colorado and six other states passing similar laws this year.  Add to this the impact of a boycott on the people we want to support.  Add to this the impact of boycotts and sanctions America has placed on oppressive regimes like Iran and North Korea and the negative  consequences  of increasing the suffering of their citizens.  The very opposite of what we had hoped.

The idea of a boycott,  in my mind anyway, seems to be a knee jerk reaction which does nothing but make the boycotter feel and think they are doing something about an issue they disagree with.  When in fact, it does little to re-mediate the situation.

There is a very good possibility that additional states will have passed similar or even more restrictive laws this year and by 2012, we could be seeing not just one state with draconian immigration laws that racially profile a population but an entire region of states.   What if by next year, North Carolina has proposed / passed a similar law–are we going to boycott our hosting of the  General Assembly in North Carolina? Are we going to boycott them all?

This action of boycott while it may feel good in the moment–may not be the best answer to change the laws.  We need to focus our attention on Washington to pass a comprehensive immigration reform that will not only protect the citizens of our states of the issues that illegal immigration produces but also immigration reform that protects the dignity and inherent worth of the people who have come to our country looking for a better life.  The combined laws and bills passed in Arizona represent in my mind something far more sinister than deporting immigrants who are here illegally.

Perhaps what we can do as a religious denomination  that will have a greater impact is to go to Phoenix in 2012 and as a silent vigil  of protest march in the streets with our passports held high in our hands because that is where this nation is headed.  Symbolically it speaks of fascist countries where papers were required to prove ones race and religion.   We have been a country where its citizens were free to travel without restriction, without harassment anywhere within our borders.

But it cannot begin and end there.  We must write our representatives both state and federal about true immigration reform and map it out in detail what that would look like.  Not just screaming that we want reform and allow the lobbyists and corporations to then dictate what can and cannot be in the reform, but detail out what true immigration reform looks like. And then press the issue home at every turn we make.

It is a very complicated and difficult issue to ponder.  I have a greater appreciation of Bernard Loomer’ s Size of God stance when I think of this issue and what solutions might be available. It is not a simple answer like boycott AZ in 2012.  It is a more multi-layered answer than that each with their own set of negative consequences attached.  We need to weigh our actions carefully.

Immigration: A Complicated Onion

Immigration is a very complicated onion to peel.  There are many facets and nuances to the issue that it is easy to see how people can become conflicted and emotionally bound in the issue.  No one solution is going to be the umbrella solution that solves every problem that immigration causes us in the United States.  It may take several smaller components that when layered together will form the onion.

Arizona last month passed not one but three bills into law that reflected a dramatic shift in their approach to immigration.  We need to look at all three laws together to see the potential motivation and the impact of these laws on the citizens of Arizona and those who are living there with out documentation of legal status. Included in this mix is also the response that other states have made in reaction to these laws.  As I am writing this there are seven states that are considering similar or even more draconian laws than Arizona’s.

Arizona’s governor claims that her state is under siege by immigrants crossing the border and bringing with them a host of problems; including drug and human sex trafficking, violent crimes,  and child prostitution.  All of these are serious problems and need to be addressed with effective laws.  The question is what effective laws will address them?  Arizona’s argument is that since the Federal government has not acted and these issues appear to be growing–despite documented evidence of a marked decrease in these particular crimes since the 1990’s (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/03/nation/la-na-arizona-crime-20100503) — and endangering the welfare of Arizona’s citizens then they must act.

I was under the impression that police could already ask for identification papers on people they are investigating for criminal activity.  A friend of mine that works in law enforcement told  me that was not the case only INS enforcers could ask for identification papers. This law gives police the ability to ask those who are already suspected of other criminal activity their citizenship status. My friend insisted the law is intended towards people who are already under investigation of other criminal activity and not just someone walking down the street. Perhaps, but I have my doubts…

But if racism and racial profiling is not being promoted by Arizona’s laws, then what pray tell, is the purpose behind the second law that Arizona passed that same week—banning ethnic studies from public schools and banning teachers who speak with an accent from teaching English?    The reason given for banning the courses is because they “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

Do they really? This country was founded on the principle of overthrowing an oppressive government; it is written into our Declaration of Independence.  We generally have done this by getting rid of oppressive laws such as the Jim Crow Laws of the south, rather than by overthrowing the entire government.   But it is a people’s right to change the government that is oppressive to the liberties that are fundamentally endowed to us.

Ethnic solidarity over individualism is a cultural moré of many Latino cultures therefore to ban a course that might emphasize community is a direct attack on a people’s heritage.  One of the stages towards genocide (according to Genocide Watch) includes discouraging any attempts of creating sympathy or simpatico with the ostracized group and to break the family and ethnic bonds that hold that group together.

The teachers who teach English but speak with accents–allegedly any accent but a Spanish accent is the target– many of them were initially hired as part of Arizona’s bi-lingual education program which ended in 2000.  Since they could not get rid of the teachers they transferred them to teach English and now the law to ban teachers who speak with accents. Sure there is a need to ensure that English teachers have a proficiency in English grammar but there are other ways to ensure this without targeting teachers with ‘accents.’  It is a discriminatory way to remove Latino diversity from the public schools and increase hostility towards a specific population.

Arizona also passed a law, which was immediately repealed, to require presidential candidates to produce a birth certificate proving birth in the United States in order to be eligible to be placed on the ballot in Arizona. In and of itself this law would be no big deal, but in the context of the birther movement that still insists that President Obama was not born in the State of Hawaii and yet does not seem to care that Arizona’s own Senator McCain who ran against Obama, was born in Panama to American parents stationed there.  If this law were in place in 2008, McCain could not run for President in his own state as an American citizen born on foreign soil. This law, albeit repealed immediately, is a racially motivated law.

These three laws combined seem to me to be a reaction to the fact that a specific population is becoming the majority and the way to stop their growing power is to profile them in negative lights through police harassment, through removal of their educational influence, and by denying the ability to honor their ethnic and cultural diversity. This is a state that is shifting ever closer to seeking extraordinary means in order to retain white supremacy / power in the state.  Arizona is not the only state that is making this shift.  There are at least seven states that are making similar overtures.

And it is this shift in attitude towards people who are different from Anglo America that is the alarm that many feel as they witness Arizona pass draconian legislation that potentially could result in racial profiling.  These three laws combined signal the potential of actions that we will regret in the not so distant future.

Immigrants are not taking jobs away from us.  This is a myth.  Immigrants generally find employment in fields that we Americans do not want such as migrant workers, or domestic help, or unskilled laborers.  We tend to look at these positions with disdain and yet they are vital to our economy.  This is work that needs to be done in order for our high standard of living to thrive but that we deemed undignified.

“So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But … whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.   But this is work that our society has deemed unworthy and it is this work that our immigrants, those here legally and those here illegally have sought as employment.

Whatever the solution for illegal immigration, the one that needs to be found is one that will honor and respect the individuals who come here.  We can seal our borders.  We can strengthen our employment laws.  We can enhance our legal immigration system so that those who enter through legal channels are welcomed with open arms and are protected by the laws that seek to protect all of us.

The laws that Arizona passed will not do this for those who are here legally.  The laws that Arizona passed will create hardship and injustice for them.  Arizona is creating an atmosphere that will be hostile to anyone who is non-white, specifically the Hispanic, Latino, and the Native American.  This is not what we hold dear about America.  We can still fulfill our American Creed.

This onion called immigration is a multi-layered and complex issue.  It touches on issues that we do not want to admit exists and yet we must confess and deal with them.  Issues that were never so clearly revealed than in Arizona this past month.  Blessings,

CLARIFICATION: One of the three bills has been signed into law and that is the law allowing police to request citizenship status. The bill that bans ethnic studies and bans teachers who speak with an accent from teaching English is on the governor’s desk awaiting her signature or veto. The bill dubbed the “Birther Bill” that would require presidential candidates to produce their birth certificate to prove their birth in United States passed the state’s house but was not forwarded to the senate because it is believed there is not enough support for it.