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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Church and state; faith voices against torture; more.

Three announcements: Readers in Alabama will especially be interested in a March 31 conference, "The Harmonies of Liberty: A Symposium on the Role of Religion in Public Life," sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law. It looks like a great program.

I'd also encourage you to consider supporting the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. I've added my name to its list of endorsers — something I don't often do — because I continue to find it almost beyond comprehension that my country is engaged in barbarity. Please let your congresspeople know how you feel about this issue. I'll have a link up to the campaign at the top of the sidebar for the forseeable future.

Finally, Harvard Divinity School, my alma mater, is marking the fiftieth anniversary of admitting women to its degree programs. "Celebration" would not quite be the right word, since it's an uncomfortable fact that HDS didn't admit women during the entire duration of its Unitarian affiliation. But I do celebrate the difference fifty years has made: I can't imagine how my experience there would have suffered if I hadn't known the extraordinary classmates and professors that change made possible — not to mention that I wouldn't have met Mrs Philocrites if she hadn't moved to Cambridge to enroll.

Which leads me to pass along word that a group of students, staff, and faculty is performing "The Vagina Monologues" this week to raise money for Casa Myrna Vazquez, a Boston-based organization dedicated to ending domestic violence in the lives of women and children. Performances are tonight, Thursday night, and Saturday night at 7:30 in the Andover Hall chapel. The show is apparently the only student-sponsored event marking the anniversary.

I learned about all three of these things from announcements sent by readers. I don't announce everything sent my way, but I'm always grateful to hear from you. Thanks!

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 14 February 2006 at 8:25 AM

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February 15, 2006 06:05 PM | Permalink for this comment

I'm thrilled (and thankful to Chris) to see The Vagina Monologues covered here. The first performance went wonderfully and there was standing room only. Anyone who is interested in attending should buy tickets ahead of time -- and soon -- there won't be any left at the door. The First Unitarian Church in Littleton, MA is also presenting the Monologues if you can't get to Cambridge or can't get tickets. Yay for 50 Years of Women at Harvard Divinity School... and the four Unitarian Universalist women who are in the The Vagina Monologues and working to (re)claim sacred space for women and their stories.

On another note, there were high school students at the Monologues and I know some youth advisors are bringing students from their groups. I was excited, and a bit surprised, by that. There would be been an uproar in my little Ohio town if high school students were "exposed" to such ideas. I wonder if this is a ultra-blue state phenomenon, or if there is a shift in what high school students are exposed to and aware of in the eight years since I have been out of high school?


February 15, 2006 06:10 PM | Permalink for this comment

As for "red-state" high schools, see (alas) Saturday's post on a Missouri school superintendent's decision to discourage the high school drama department from performing "The Crucible" after scandalizing a conservative church with a performance of "Grease."

See also PeaceBang's review of the HDS performance of "The Vagina Monologues."

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