The Possible Peace portion of the day came after today’s show ended. But I’m hearing all the speeches about the historic deal with Iran on their nuclear capability, and I couldn’t ignore it in this post. I’ll have all the information to share tomorrow morning.
If you don’t want to wait until then to get the details, just click here for the official State Department fact sheet on the framework agreement.
In the spirit of alliteration, I could have used “Penis Pizza” in this post’s title, but that might be taking this too far. The image above was posted on the MemoriesPizza.com website, along with more information intended to mock the bigoted owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, IN.
The not-very-bright owners of that pizza place, who thought it was a good idea to go on the local TV news and proclaim that they’d never cater a same-sex wedding, never bothered to register the url MemoriesPizza.com. So some intrepid internet user bought it and put up a site, which has since been taken down and replaced with this message:
If you, as I do, wonder why these homophobic, hateful assholes are so afraid of the gay, I finally found the answer. I find it somewhat ironic that it comes from Pat Robertson.
Speaking of prayers, I went to the most religiously-connected person I knew to get his thoughts on this sudden rush among states to pass “Religious Freedom Restoration” legislation. Frank Schaeffer grew up the son of Francis Schaeffer, the founder of and regarded as the “Pope” of the religious right movement.
Frank Schaeffer is always fascinating; his insight on the latest insanity from the “Christian conservative” crowd is certainly worth the listen!
We began the show today with a quick conversation with Marc Caputo, Florida political reporter for Politico, who wrote about the indictment of Sen. Bob Menedez and the big Florida connection in “Florida’s Third Senator“.
And we finished up with Amy Simon of She’s History. We spoke about a recent study about job performance reviews and the differences they found according to gender. It was underscored in the recent story of Ellen Pao, who just lost her lawsuit against the investment firm she accused of discriminatory or retaliatory behavior.
With Passover starting tomorrow night, I thought Amy would enjoy a Feminist Passover essay written by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg…
On Passover, Jews are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus and to see ourselves as having lived through that story, so that we may better learn how to live our lives today. The stories we tell our children shape what they believe to be possible—which is why at Passover, we must tell the stories of the women who played a crucial role in the Exodus narrative.
The Book of Exodus, much like the Book of Genesis, opens in pervasive darkness. Genesis describes the earth as “unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep.”1 In Exodus, darkness attends the accession of a new Pharaoh who feared the Israelites and so enslaved them. God alone lights the way out of the darkness in Genesis. But in Exodus, God has many partners, first among them, five brave women.
There is Yocheved, Moses’ mother, and Shifra and Puah, the famous midwives. Each defies Pharaoh’s decree to kill the Israelite baby boys. And there is Miriam, Moses’ sister, about whom the following midrash is taught:[When Miriam’s only brother was Aaron] she prophesied… “my mother is destined to bear a son who will save Israel.” When [Moses] was born the whole house… filled with light[.] [Miriam’s] father arose and kissed her on the head, saying, “My daughter, your prophecy has been fulfilled.” But when they threw [Moses] into the river her father tapped her on the head saying, “Daughter, where is your prophecy?” So it is written, “And [Miriam] stood afar off to know what would be[come of] the latter part of her prophecy.”2
Finally, there is Pharaoh’s daughter Batya, who defies her own father and plucks baby Moses out of the Nile. The Midrash reminds us that Batya knew exactly what she doing:
When Pharaoh’s daughter’s handmaidens saw that she intended to rescue Moses, they attempted to dissuade her, and persuade her to heed her father. They said to her: “Our mistress, it is the way of the world that when a king issues a decree, it is not heeded by the entire world, but his children and the members of his household do observe it, and you wish to transgress your father’s decree?”3
But transgress she did.
These women had a vision leading out of the darkness shrouding their world. They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality bathed in the light of the day.
Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision and the courage to act, they can carry forward the tradition those intrepid women launched.
While there is much light in today’s world, there remains in our universe disheartening darkness, inhumanity spawned by ignorance and hate. We see horrific examples in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and Ukraine. The Passover story recalls to all of us—women and men—that with vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind, kindling lights along paths leading out of the terrifying darkness.
1 Genesis 1:2 2 Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 14a 3 Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 12b
And finally, there hasn’t been any news out of LA on Joni Mitchell’s condition since her website posted an update Tuesday night that said she was awake and talking, but still in intensive care. I’ve been fortunate enough to have met her a few times, and sit for a long interview with her in 1998 – for print! The final article is posted here, and I’ll share the audio of the interview tomorrow morning for our Flashback Friday segment, radio or not!