First let’s start with some facts:
1. I am a Catholic and a DFLer.
2. I like live music.
3. I am very much opposed to this amendment (edit: I am referring to the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota), and will work to see it fail.
Recently, I saw a number of people RSVPing to an event on Facebook called “Just say NO to the Basilica Block Party”. Normally things like this don’t make me think twice – I usually know where I stand on an issue. However, this year I was planning on attending ths BBP for the first time as a part of a weekend of stuff to celebrate my 30th birthday and wondered if I needed to rethink these plans.
As I mentioned above, I really do not want the Constitution of the State of Minnesota (my adopted home) to include this amendment. It solves a “problem” that doesn’t exist – it is merely a ploy to gain some chits with a certain group of people who think banning gay marriage will solve all of the woes in society. SPOILER: Um, pretty sure that investing in our state and making some tweaks to our tax codes will do a lot more to create jobs, help solve the deficit, among other things.
Also, I have said before that I don’t understand why we need this amendment. My theory is that if you are threatened by someone else’s relationship, chances are the other relationship isn’t the problem. I think everyone should be able to be happy and loved, and have a formal union with someone they love and care about if they so choose. We are all different and unique and this fact makes us the same, so we should all have the same basic rights.
So what does this have to do with a concert?
As everyone by now knows, there was a 8.9 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan yesterday. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people there and anyone else impacted by this tragedy.
This earthquake is the 5th strongest earthquake ever recorded by humans. The AP reports “The force of the quake was so strong that it moved the island of Honshu 8 feet to the east, said USGS geophysicist Ken Hudnut. It sped up the Earth’s rotation by 1.6 microseconds, according to NASA.”
To put this quake in perspective, according to Wikipedia (yes, I know that this isn’t the most reliable source, but just work with me here), and quakes of this magnitude only happen once per year or once every 20 years and can cause devistation over an area that covers hundreds or thousands of miles. The 2010 Haiti earthquake was only a 7.0 quake – weaker than the quake in Sendai by a factor of almost 20. However, the impacts and damage caused by these two quakes were very, very different.
Why is this?
Note: I normally won’t post about politics or work, but I needed to share my thoughts on this event.
To put the weekend’s tragedy in perspective, the young Giffords staffer killed, Gabe Zimmerman, had a job similar to mine and the jobs of many of my friends. This could have just as easily have happened to me. No one, regardless of their political beliefs, deserves to be faced with incivility and violence in their line of work.
I think that, without pointing any fingers and blame, we can all agree that this is a lesson that freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences. This applies to anyone, regardless of political persuasion. Everyone needs to tone down the violent rhetoric and imagery, which I’m sure is not something you’d want today’s youth to see or adopt in their lives. Civil discourse is needed at times like this. We need people calling for it from all sides.
I’m going to offer an action item for you all: consider writing a note to the local office of your US Senators and Representative thanking them and their staff for their service, regardless if you voted for them or not. These staffers serve all people in the district and/or state, so represent you as well. As someone who has received many kind notes and messages from people over the past few days, their thoughts and support have been helpful with putting recent events in perspective. If you want assistance in figuring out where to direct a message, I can help you out with that.