Growing up, I began to understand that religious freedom, a bedrock of American society, indeed means no bossing anyone about religious beliefs -- not the government, not faith communities, not individuals and, looking at the present issue, not their corporations.
Fifty years ago, thousands of students from northern, mid-western and western colleges came to the South to participate in "Freedom Summer." Their goal was to increase voter registration among the African-American inhabitants of those states.
We're not facing angry mobs and jail time, but I like to think that our work is furthering the hopes and dreams of the brave kids who marched in the streets of Birmingham.
I started going to Planned Parenthood in 1997, and since then have gotten all my reproductive health care there, because once inside, I feel respected and listened to, and able to access the medical care I need without judgement. Outside, however, it's another story.
Gay rights are important and should be mandated at the utmost degree. However, recognize that they are not, nor ever will have, the same level of struggle or oppression that have plagued this country for hundreds of years.
Nancy Garden, author of the landmark young adult book Annie on My Mind, died on June 23rd at the age of 76. Nancy was family.
In 1964, Mississippi was a place of terror, where local white citizens carried out brutal retaliation against blacks who believed they had the right to be first-class citizens. More than 1,000 people were arrested that summer.
America's need to showcase her indomitable spirit of heroism this July 4th celebration arrives mired by the two recent Supreme Court -- both highlighting a "war against women."
After the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, conservative religionists tried seizing the opportunity to exclude people from their midst whose non-heterosexuality troubles them. The president of my own alma mater was one of them.
Looking back 50 years allows us to consider, "how far we have come," but also how "retroactive" some sectors of US society have become in recent times.
I thought about his courage and commitment 50 years ago, the life of service he's lived since then, and I wondered if I would have had the awareness and strength of character to head south for Freedom Summer if I had been old enough in 1964.
At the intermission of Noël Coward's Private Lives, my wife asked me whether I had been offended by the use of the word "Chinaman." Other than that one bit of language, it was a perfect comedy of manners. I replied that I wasn't sure.
However you feel about the immigration issue, the sight of angry protesters in Murrieta, California shouting invectives to a busload of children and their moms has to make you queasy.
This is insane. Watermelon-flavored Oreos is insane. Ryan Seacrest has 13 million Twitter followers is insane. But absolutely nothing compares to the socially accepted fact that men are making laws about women's bodies. That's crazy town.
Where there is a will, there is a way, even in today's political world where change seems to be harder to come by, as the president acknowledged during his retrospective on LBJ's "genius" political work on civil rights.
Today, July 2, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.