Crossing the T

Life at the intersection of Church and Trans with Rev. Allyson Robinson

Archive for Quotes

Can I Quote You? St. Ignatius of Loyola on self-sacrifice

Teach us to give and not to count the cost.

St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), spiritual director and founder of the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits).  Today is his feast-day.

And a comment from me: Even in my most passionate activism, and even in my relationships with those I love the most, I am so quick to think of myself first.  May I learn to ignore my selfish instincts, which objectify and dehumanize those I am called to serve, and give without hesitation to the utmost measure.

(Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.)

Can I Quote You? Karl Menninger on what to do if you’re about to have a nervous breakdown

Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need, and do something for them.

Karl Menninger (1893-1990), American psychologist.

And a comment from me: While I certainly don’t agree with all of Dr. Menninger’s ideas about psychology (particularly his thoughts on possession as a possible cause of mental illness), this particular quote seemed worth sharing.

Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac for today.

Can I Quote You? Tobias Haller on true interpretations of scripture

Just as the Son, the living Word of God, does nothing on his own (John 5:19,30; 8:28), so too the Scripture, the written Word of God, can not and does not stand or work alone, but is interpreted and put into effect under the caring stewardship of the church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in its many members. The Word is meant to be productive as seed, and is thus inseparable from the mission of the church. The truth of the interpretation will be found in the fruit and harvest it bears. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Tobias Haller’s “Thought for the Day,” June 18, 2008

And a comment from me: Why is it that so many of us cling to barren interpretations without ever stopping to evaluate them in the way Tobias suggests? What are we afraid of?

Can I Quote You? Renee DeMusiak on voting your conscience

From last Saturday’s Fresno Bee, via Box Turtle Bulletin, comes this little snippet about a straight religious woman, Renee, and her boss Michael, a gay man planning to wed his partner of 16 years.  The money quote is at the end.

DeMusiak, 52, the florist shop employee, grew up with the idea that marriage meant only a man and a woman.

“I just always went by the Bible. Mom is mom and dad is dad. I was never really for gays getting married,” she says.

But in November, she plans to vote against the ban and for same-sex marriage.

She had only worked at Chase Flower Shop for two months when her dog got sick and needed expensive medical care.

“Michael gave me his credit card and told me to take care of her,” she says. “I’d never vote against him.”

She says her own search for a mate has been the stuff of blues songs: cheating men, hurt, and true love never arriving.

“I’m struggling to find someone. I see gay couples come in here all the time who have had better luck than me. It’s so important to have someone love you for who and what you truly are,” she says.

“I know religion is really going to come down on this one, but I just don’t think I can be opposed any more. I vote for people to be happy.”

Can I Quote You? St. Thomas Aquinas on activism and anger

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), Italian Catholic priest and Dominican, theologian and philosopher.

And a comment from me: The challenge, of course, is to be moral in our anger. This is why I am so thankful for the teachings of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolence. Paige Schilt recently wrote a wonderful essay on living out those teachings as a participant in Soulforce‘s American Family Outing at the Bilerico Project.

And an aside: This quote is widely attributed to St. Thomas, but after scouring the sections from Summa Theologica where one might expect to find it, I came up empty handed. Perhaps it’s from Contra Gentiles? If anyone can help me attribute this one, I’d be grateful.

Can I Quote You? Chief Justice Ron George on marriage and the state

Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest.

California State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George, writing for the majority in today’s ruling in favor of marriage equality.

And a comment from me: Thank you, Lord. Let justice roll.

Can I Quote You? Abigail Jensen on our calling

I think that demonstrating to the world our common humanity despite our differences is our highest calling as trans women and men.

Blogger Abigail Jensen, commenting on my recent post on Virginia Ramey Mollenkott’s keynote at the Transforming Faith: Divining Gender conference

And a thought from me:  I’m so encouraged to hear so many trans voices speaking about living openly as a way of fulfilling the mandate of a calling or of enacting and empowering change.  I’m inspired by this kind of courage.

Can I Quote You? Saul Alinsky on the freedom to act

Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you’re free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in.

Activist and organizer Saul Alinsky (1909-1972)

And a thought from me: Alinsky is regarded by many to be the father of modern grassroots activism. Read his principles, and especially his 13 tactical rules for activism at the Free Range Activism Virtual Library.

(Thanks to the Bilerico Project.)

Can I Quote You? Donna Rose on what it takes to be an activist

An activist is simply someone who is moved to act.

Transgender activist Donna Rose, at her blog yesterday.

And a comment from me:  Donna’s thinking raises some questions for me–questions I’d ask my congregation if I were in a pulpit this weekend:

  • What is moving you?  If nothing is moving you, why not?
  • How are you acting in response to what moves you?  If you’re not doing anything, why not?
  • What do these things say about you–your true beliefs, your real values, your deepest self?  Are you who you want to be?

Can I Quote You? Edwin Markham on the power of inclusion

He drew a circle that shut me out –
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.

Edwin Markham (1852-1940), poet and activist.

And a comment from me:  In our fight for justice, name-calling must never be allowed to take the day. 

(I discovered this little poem a few days ago.  When I finally got around to researching it a bit, I learned to my surprise that today is the author’s birthday.)


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