It is currently memorial day in washington dc…I know that my third week in DC has technically already started, but I will be covering my second week in this entry.
At work this week I had the opportunity to get out of the office some and go to some meetings and visit capitol hill. My first meeting of the week was at the heritage foundation (a conservative think tank located in DC). The meeting was on “sexual economics”…it sounds like an awkward topic and at sometimes it was. It was interesting to hear the speakers talk about people my age and how they have observed us dealing with this issue. I was particularly interested when a speaker starting discussing the “knowledge economy.” The knowledge economy is basically a term used to describe how the workforce and people in general are becoming more and more educated and how our economy focuses on producing more knowledge. Because of this, many couples are having a tough time balancing the advancement of their careers with their relational or marital plans. The knowledge economy is not conducive to a family settling down and for many people this is a problem. For many people (myself included) “settling down” is part of their ultimate dream and goal in life. Settling down meaning finding a job, getting married, and laying down roots…this simply is not at easy as it used to be and it is leading to the breakdown of marriage and the family. Young couples want to be together and enjoy all the benefits of marriage, but the necessary steps they must take to be successful in the world today do not mesh with their ultimate relational goals. Sadly, I do not see this changing, but instead couples and people in general must adapt.
My second meeting was at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This meeting was on marriage and the family. The meeting had representatives from Evangelical churches, the Southern Baptist Convention, Catholic churches and I sat in between a Muslim Imam and a Jewish leader. Our speaker (a professor at Georgetown University) gave a long list of arguments for Christianity in governmental issues. For example, Dr. Shah (speaker) noted things like how archeology points to our desire to worship…our ancient ancestors desired to worship before they did anything else. Shah also pointed out that in areas where religious persecution exists, extremism also existed (ex: radical Islam in middle east and africa). We talked a lot about how religious orginizations are being forced to recognize homosexual couples and that our rights are being impeded upon because of the rights being given to these couples. Christian adoption agencies like ones in Illinois are being forced to allow homosexual couples to adopt when this is against the will of the agency and parents. An equilibrium of some sort must be established. Rights are being given to homosexuals (a right not implicit to the constitution) while consequently, the rights of the religious and Christians are being taken away (implicit to the constitution). I understand the argument that many homosexuals and homosexual advocates are making concerning religion. They think that we are being discriminatory and granted, some people are, but for most we are simply trying to do the same thing homosexual couples are…exercise the freedoms we believe we deserve. The major difference in my mind and my personal opinion is that the constitution gives more clout to the argument for religious freedom and more exclusive, specific rights to the Church as opposed to homosexuals. Overall, I feel that homosexuals can have rights and the Church can be satisfied. The whole issue of homosexuals adopting from Christian adoption agencies offers a perfect example. I highly doubt that most homosexual couples are going to look first to a Christian adoption agency instead of a secular one. If homosexuals go to secular adoption agencies, then the problem does not exist and things can continue to operate as they always have. The problem occurs when individuals seek to make a statement and disrupt a norm that is mostly not discriminatory. Homosexuals should respect the views of the religious community and the religious community should respect homosexuals as individuals and humans, while still being able to disagree with their lifestyles…that makes sense to me.
I had the opportunity to deliver letters on capitol hill to several senators offices…including John McCain and other high up senators. It was fun, but walking around in the senate office building for 3 hours took a toll on my feet. The 95 degree heat outside was not much help…I have given up hope of arriving somewhere and not breaking a sweat.
I have enjoyed the memorial day weekend in DC very much and have gotten to see a lot of neat things. I went to the Vietnam Memorial Wall on saturday and witnessed thousands of bikers and veterans making their yearly “run to the wall.” I have always loved motorcycles so I enjoyed that aspect, but also paying my respects with some very interesting and unique people (unique in a good connotation). I saw a man who should have been in ZZ Top…his name was dollar or something, but he had patches from Sturgis every year since 1993 and had been apart of the wall run since the early 90′s as well. My experience at the wall on saturday was very reverent in nature…it was a lot to take in. Seeing several elderly men bend down, crying, and touch the names of their fallen brothers was truly a unique and thought-provoking experience.
On Sunday night I went to the Memorial Day weekend concert and was very pleased to learn that BB King would be performing. The 85-year-old blue legend was in great spirits and put on a good show despite him sitting down the entire time.
Monday I thought I would go to Arlington cemetery and see the graves with all the flags on them and walk around a bit. When I got there I walked around some and then was instructed to stay where I was at near the entrance of the cemetery because the presidential motorcade was getting ready to leave. I was very upset with myself that I did not know or realize that Obama had been speaking at Arlington only an hour before…Oh well. I did get to catch a glimpse of Barack and Michelle as they were leaving…so the day was not a complete loss.
Till next time…