Archive for the ‘question we got a question’ Category

NOTE: With renewed interest in the Ct. Witch Trials we wish to republish this piece from 2014. It is an important piece and we hope that more work will be done and Center Church will come around and do what is right.

Center Church. Is an apology in order from the church for the persecution of women?

Center Church in Hartford is doing some wonderful programs this month in an arts and heritage celebration. On October 12 they will be celebrating their 382nd anniversary of its founding. A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the memorial marker to the Reverend Thomas Hooker founding pastor of the church and leader of the city. The church on October 24 will also celebrate 20 years of being an open and affirming congregation and possibly one of the most liberal congregations in the city of Hartford as far as social work is concerned. But you know all the good this church does, and isn’t that what a church should be doing, feeding the people, tending to the sick, affirming all peoples, many can still hear the screams of Mary Johnson and others who were falsely accused of being witches, tortured and hung. So we feel we must ask a question or two about this churches past and how they are or aren’t coming to terms with this past. As our title asks, Center Church, Is an apology in order from the church for the persecution of women? 

Reverend Samuel Stone, Thomas Hooker’s number 2 man.

In Connecticut (1642):

“If any man or woman be a witch—that is, hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit—they shall be put to death.” Exodus xxii, 18; Leviticus xx, 27; Deuteronomy xviii, 10, 11. (Colonial Records of Connecticut, Vol. I, p. 77).

In New Haven (1655):

“If any person be a witch, he or she shall be put to death according to” Exodus xxii, 18; Leviticus xx, 27; Deuteronomy xviii, 10, 11. (New Haven Colonial Records, Vol. II, p. 576, Cod. 1655).

These laws were authoritative until the so called epidemic had ceased.

Witch Trial, by English artist William Powell Frith

Rev. Stone and crew flees religious oppression in England came here oppressed, accused tortured women. Stone was a Puritan, Protestants who wanted to purify the Church of England of its’ ceremony and other aspects that they thought were Catholic. They wanted the powers of the lordly bishops reduced and condemned priestly vestments, church ornaments and music. They wanted the church restored to its’ ancient purity and simplicity. This attitude put them in confrontation with The Crown and they were suppressed. So our discussion would have to lead us to, When the Oppressed become the Oppressor? What should we be doing to stop this injustice? How that would resound with the current situation of the state of Israel and the treatment of the people of Palestine and many other situations in this country and around the world. How does this relate today with the attacks against Muslims and Jews in the United States? Why must there always be someone to oppress?  (more…)

We are getting ready to publish a new essay. Here is a teaser.

Do we have a right to film the police? read the following essay A Major Victory for the Right to Film the Police The court ruled:

Americans have a constitutional right to film on-duty police officers in public, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled Friday. The three-judge panel’s decision is not the first of its kind, but it marks a significant milestone: Half of U.S. states are now covered by rulings protecting the videotaping of law enforcement.The judges’ decision solidifies a growing consensus among the federal appeals courts on this nascent issue. The First, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits have also issued similar rulings, starting in 2011, to protect bystanders who record police actions. Their collective jurisdictions now amount to exactly half of U.S. states and roughly 60 percent of the American population. No federal appeals court has ruled to the contrary; the Supreme Court has not weighed in on the subject.

7 Rules for recording the police. Check out the essay HERE. (more…)

(we republish this post for our new readers in the Hartford area. It was first published this past June.)

You know a lot of removing statues has occurred in our life time. Lenin is gone from most Russian cities, Stalin is no where to be found, Gaddafi’s came tumbling down and his bronze head kicked through the streets, Saddam Hussein met the same fate in Firdos Square Bagdad. Here in amerikkka some in the south are now  facing their racist past and racist present statues of confederate war heroes and war memorials  are falling and have fallen.

Well there is a monument located in our own backyard that some are beginning to question. Ms Elly Jones asked us what we thought about removing it and so we said, okay but tread lightly so we don’t get the intellectual class up in arms again. It seems we are very well capable at pulling off such things. But the truth be told we know that it doesn’t matter what we say or what we write. It doesn’t matter who loves us or hates us, who ignores us or reads our work. We’re going to do it anyway. You know we are going to do it anyway even if even we don’t care all that much for doing it. What’s a few feathers ruffled? In these times.

Perhaps we should re-think as some say our memorial landscapes. Perhaps we should move our memorials into an educational setting. A setting where we all can explore the subject with no holes barred. A setting where our goal is not to sanitize, glorify or deny the past but to reexamine it within the context of a real inclusive history. We like that idea. Hopefully it is spreading in the South and hopefully folks there come to terms with their unsavory past. So let’s take a look however short at a monster of a person who is high up on the pedestal who is responsible for the deaths of millions and who today is glorified by people in this city.

Should Colt go or stay?

As our queer Marxist comrade Eaemaehkiw Thupaq Kesiqnaeh points out: “As indigenists, as revolutionaries, we stand firm in our rejection of all heroes of empire and the distorted histories around them spun by both the forces of the colonial state and its loyal opposition among the so-called left”

Where does the trail of tears lead? Some will say out west but we know that it leads straight to Mr. Colt’s door here in Hartford Ct.. We know that everyone of those faces streaked, that all of the sore feet, those left on the side of the trail to die, the stomachs rumbling for the lack of food, the frozen limbs, the sobs come knocking come calling to tear this statue down. We must take a hard look at our past, move beyond the strong emotional ties to the past glories, we must shake a collective sense of identification with the ruling elite, (a trick of the ruling class for sure) the 1 % of the past as they are not our friend now and were not our friend back then. Free ourselves from the chains that the ruling class binds us with no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Nothing is small or petty in this process. (more…)

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Activists from left-wing parties and other groups beat with spoon on saucepan during a demonstration at the Place de la Republique against corruption in politics, amid a presidential campaign clouded by a fake jobs investigation and other legal scandals, in Paris, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Protesters especially targeted conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, under investigation for alleged high-paying but fake parliamentary jobs for his wife and children. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Surely our dreams of justice and liberation extend beyond simply a world where Trump is not President but everything else is the same.

One of our favorite blogs is Diana’s Little Corner in the Nutmeg State. We consider Diana a friend and comrade in this battle to set things right. The following piece is from her blog.

The right wing conservatives now want us to get permission before we go the bathroom and this is their craziest idea yet.

Ask Me First Campaign Wants Trans People to First Get Permission to Use Public Restrooms
The New Civil Rights Movement
By Carlyle Addy
September 21, 2016

Campaign Backed by Faith-Based Anti-LGBT Groups“We are moms, daughters, students, athletes, survivors and businesswomen who believe our voices matter.”

This is how the Ask Me First campaign introduces itself.

Ask Me First is an anti-transgender campaign asking politicians to ask women for permission before protecting trans people – whom they call “gender-confused” – who are attempting to use public facilities or participate in public events. The campaign features a few stories on their website from women upset about trans inclusive policies at various levels. They call equal rights “special accommodation.”

“As we all consider the policy changes we’re seeing concerning privacy and safety in restrooms and locker rooms, we think there are certain voices that are being ignored — perhaps on purpose,” Ask Me First accuses, ignoring the fact that transgender people’s voices have always been ignored.

And who is behind this latest campaign, why it is none other than our favorite nemeses,

 The campaign is backed by faith-based anti-LGBT groups, including the Family Policy Alliance, formerly Citizen Link, which is the public policy arm of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. The FPA is also associated with Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Some of them have been labeled “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Why can’t they just let us pee in peace.