Weddings and churches and doctors, oh my!
Yes, we've been busy...
My cousin Alan married his high school sweet heart in a scottish/methodist ceremony last Saturday. A very sweet, intimate wedding, with a few Scottish trappings -- men in kilts, a bit of bagpipe music, and lessons Scottish dancing for the American wedding guests.
Amazingly, though our family was seated with complete strangers, we were a relatively good match... the fellow was a jazz guitar player who had performed during the horsduerves session, and a freelance writer as well, which gave us quite a bit to talk about. The woman did the hair for the brides and brides maids and was walking refutation of the notion that one should not go to a hairstylist whose own hair is a fright. The wedding party had elegant dos that lasted all night without even one strand slipping. The hairdressers -- well it was overteased by quite a bit.
Sunday, I spoke again at the Northminster Presbyterian Church. A great group of people with intelligent questions. (Basically, every audience I've met has intelligent questions... although some of the clearly have prepared for the talk by visiting all the vitrolic anti-Islam sites on the web and memorizing the (dis) information there!) I reprieved a topic from WisCon -- both/and in an either/or world. I like the topic because it's a great launching place from which to smash a few misconceptions -- like all Muslims are the same, or, if we want to be a bit more sophisticated, all Sunnis are the same and all Shias are the same. Hate to tell you folks, but it's far more complex than that! It also allows for a frank discussion on what does patriotism mean (I come down on the side of wanting my country to be the best it can be, and doing my darndest to make it so, rather than the support your commander in chief no matter what)(big surprise...) and for the complexities involved in always being called upon to defend or denounce the actions of Muslims overseas, who come from different countries, have different customs and sometimes seem to be following some other Islam than the one I read in the Qur'an.
Of course, non-Muslims want Muslims to stand up everytime something horrible is done by a Muslim and disavow it, but not only is this tiring, distracting from real work that needs to be done, but it also is an admission of guilt by association. If you have to stand up and say, "I hate terrorism" well the implication is that it's not really clear that you would. If you disagree with that premise, you've got a much more complex message to put out -- of course, I don't agree with terrorism, what sane, humane person could? What religion teaches untrammeled violence against innocents? None. Duh. So of course we disavow these acts, and especially the people who would like to twist Islam to support their political ends, that should be unnecessary to say, but since you are so uninformed about Islam (and that's not your fault, our public education system is woefully inadequate -- I knew nothing about Islam before I started studying it. I couldn't have named a Muslim country. I couldn't have named a Muslim tenet. I couldn't have even told you the Crusades were against Muslims -- it was against the infidels, whoever they were. And Spain? It was ruled by the Moors, not Muslims) I will say it.
Anyway, quite a complex message to deliver in the thirteen second sound bite favored by news stations.
And finally, poor Saara visited the doctor today. Her knee has been bothering her. My dad thought it might be torn cartiledge. I'm worried about some form of Chondromalasia, although she's awfully young for that! Either way, doctors offices sure do eat up a lot of time!