Tag Archives: Rhode Island


Hiiii friends, 

The plan is on to do a field trip-share club, before Frankenstorm hits. 
We’ll be checking out the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum, in Exeter. There’s an exhibit on wampum this Sunday. 
Plan is —
meet at Libertalia at 2pm, (280 Broadway) 
carpool out there. 
event runs from 2-5pm, we should be back around 5! 
directions: driving directions
Give me a call at 209-663-8347 if you want to join us! 
We are expecting this event to be free. If it’s not I’ll let you know! 
More info here: shareclub.tumblr.com
luv share.
(please forward along to anyone!) 

Rhode Island natives, including those born overseas, are under ordinary circumstances so shy and mistrustful around people they don’t know as to seem almost deranged. They never look a stranger in the eye, or if they do, they unfocus their own eyes. I don’t mean a stranger you pass in the street, I mean a stranger who’s lived next door to you for twenty-five years, or a stranger you ask for directions from or hand his dropped wallet to or knock down with your car.

This probably has something to do with the tradition of overcrowding, of living cheek by jowl for two hundred years. Whatever the cause, we have no stage presence at all, no Southern theatrics, Midwestern irony, Western hyperbole, New York cynicism. We don’t even have the famous and overrated Maine understatement. We have instead an Unfortunate Manner.

We literally don’t know how to act. We have no roles to play. We are the nakedest of Americans, and when native strangers, themselves naked and ashamed, make even innocuous demands of us–How much is this? Would you please get off my foot?–we panic and writhe, we shamble and fumble with our buttons, we mutter even as we back away. We make inappropriate noises. I’ve seen man-on-Weybosset-Street interviews on TV, and they’re really too painful to watch. A stout woman with anxious haunted eyes, asked for her New Year’s predictions, blurts, ‘I think we’re going to have World War III!’ and giggles like a toddler. She stand for all of us, an awkward cipher, silly or rude, or silly and rude, and inside, clearly glimpsed in the frightened eyes, some poor trapped soul screaming for help.

Our body language, of course, is wonderfully complex. We know a thousand different shrugs.

Jincy Willett, Winner of the National Book Award

(This is 100% true and explains my life. I had a lot to work through.)

The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed. Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God and has an eternal destiny. (Genesis 1:27) Sacredness is not conferred, nor can it be taken away by human agreement.

The Salvation Army deplores society’s ready acceptance of abortion, which reflects insufficient concern for vulnerable persons, including the unborn. (Psalms 82:3-4)

The Salvation Army holds to the Christian ideals of chastity before marriage and fidelity within the marriage relationship and, consistent with these ideals, supports measures to prevent crisis pregnancies. It is opposed to abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection or for any reason of mere convenience to avoid the responsibility for conception. Therefore, when an unwanted pregnancy occurs, The Salvation Army advises that the situation be accepted and that the pregnancy be carried to term, and offers supportive help and assistance with planning.

The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, with appropriate involvement of the woman’s family and pastoral, medical and other counsel. A woman in these circumstances needs acceptance, love and compassion.

When an abortion has taken place, The Salvation Army will continue to show love and compassion and to offer its services and fellowship to those involved.

The Salvation Army holds a positive view of human sexuality. Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy.

Sexual attraction to the same sex is a matter of profound complexity. Whatever the causes may be, attempts to deny its reality or to marginalize those of a same-sex orientation have not been helpful. The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching.

Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.

Likewise, there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation. The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse.

In keeping with these convictions, the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation. The fellowship of Salvation Army worship is open to all sincere seekers of faith in Christ, and membership in The Salvation Army church body is open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.

The Salvation Army affirms the New Testament standard of marriage, which is the loving union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Marriage is the first institution ordained by God (Genesis 2:24), and His Word establishes its significance (Matthew 19:4-6).

Marriage is the only proper context for sexual intimacy. Scripture demands abstinence before, and faithfulness within, marriage. Marriage is more than a private commitment of a couple to live together; it requires formal vows exchanged before God and others/other people. Marriage reflects the relationship of Christ and His Church. It is a loving, mutually respectful union intended for life (Ephesians 5:21-33). Marriage provides the optimal environment for the welfare of children and contributes to the stability of society.

The Salvation Army promotes a culture that properly values marriage. People thinking of getting married should seek the wise counsel of others, prayerfully discerning God’s will. Husbands and wives must not take their relationship for granted but should work to nurture and safeguard their union. Troubled marriages can often be healed with the assistance of skilled professional counselors and pastoral care. The Salvation Army offers a variety of resources to strengthen and support marriages.

The Salvation Army is committed to promoting, strengthening and protecting God’s institution of marriage.

Salvation Army – who are you giving to?

It’s not all bad. I’m just saying. The more we know.

If you’ve got stuff to donate, especially clothes and the like, I recommend finding a local place, like a shelter, some place that helps folks directly, without judgment. Not always easy to find, trust me I know. But there are places, and local spaces are the best in my opinion, and worth building a relationship with. If you’d like to hear more about my personal experience with this, please contact me here.

Made it to Occupy Providence at Burnside Park tonight. I hadn’t been downtown since it started 11 days ago, and coming up to it in person was much different than just seeing photos and the occasional video online. I felt a surge of inspiration, seeing the small city park full of the tents and gear of earnest, no-bullshit Occupiers. This was significant, as I am generally pretty cynical about conventional forms of activism, for various reasons I won’t get into right now.

It was a quiet, mellow, gray-autumn afternoon, small groups of folks hanging out, talking, skateboarding, playing with dogs, a few showboaters but nothing too obnoxious or intimidating. My baby was his usual charming self, and a few people said he made their day. So that was our contribution, boosting a bit of morale. 🙂

One issue. Within a half an hour of my getting there, a fight broke out, right by the fountain. It started verbally among a group of a dozen or more, then quickly escalated into a physical fight between two women in the middle of the group (I think just two, it was hard to see through the people). The fight was broken up pretty quickly, but yelling and threats–and melodramatic shit-talking–continued for some time.

It is possible that the fight was not among Occupiers, but just people who happened to be hanging out at the (public) park. However, it seemed to be among a group that gathered during one of the Occupy announcements… This is currently being addressed on Facebook, I will edit this post if I get a satisfactory answer. [Update: No satisfactory answer.]

If it was among Occupiers, which it looked like to me–it was pretty damn disheartening to see, considering the important focus on nonviolence of the movement. I realize that nobody’s perfect, and that “these things happen,” but it brings up one of the aforementioned reasons for my cynical attitude toward activism: If we can’t get our own shit together, how can we possibly expect to make the world a better place?

PS. My friend Jake wrote a good piece, accolades and criticisms, on the Occupy movement, on the Black Mesa Indigenous Support Facebook group. I travelled to Black Mesa and volunteered on Thanksgiving week, 2008 on the Navajo reservation with Jake, who has been going there for years, and for much longer stretches, so I can tell you he knows his shit.

Religious dissenter Roger Williams founded the colony of Providence, Rhode Island after being run out of the theocratic Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636. Unlike the Puritans, he scrupulously purchased land from local Indians for his settlement. In political beliefs, Williams was close to the Levellers of England. He describes Rhode Island local “government” as follows: “The masters of families have ordinarily met once a fortnight and consulted about our common peace, watch and plenty; and mutual consent have finished all matters of speed and pace.”

While Roger Williams was not explicitly anarchist, another Rhode Islander, Anne Hutchinson, was. Hutchinson and her followers emigrated to Rhode Island in 1638, bought Aquidneck Island from the Indians, and founded the town of Pocasset (now Portsmouth.) Another “Rogue Island” libertarian was Samuell Gorton. He and his followers were accused of being anarchists, and Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay called Gorton a “man not fit to live upon the face of the earth.” Gorton and his followers were forced in late 1642 to found an entirely new settlement of their own, Shawomet (later Warwick). In the words of Gorton, for over five years the settlement “lived peaceably together, desiring and endeavoring to do wrong to no man, neither English nor Indian, ending all our differences in a neighborly and loving way of arbitration, mutually chosen amongst us.”

In 1648, Warwick joined with the other three towns of Rhode Island to form the colony of the “Providence Plantation.” From that time on Rhode Island had a government; this government, however, was far more democratic and libertarian than existed elsewhere in the American colonies. In a letter to Sir Henry Vane penned in the mid-1650s, Williams wrote, “we have not known what an excise means; we have almost forgotten what tithes are, yea, or taxes either, to church or commonwealth.”