Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

Still so much Human Rights work left to do! 

This Valentine's Day, I am encouraging everyone I know to watch the "Take me to Church" video by Hozier. It brought our daughter to tears when, for the first time, we had to explain that some people still hate others for whom they love. In some countries, like the Soviet Union (as depicted in the video) it is illegal to even advocate or discuss LGBT issues. There is still so much human rights work to do, at home and abroad; but, it is encouraging to know that progress is being made.

I was prompted to write about Hozier after watching the Grammy's earlier this week. It was maddening to watch Madonna still playing the vagabond harlot, for nothing more than attention. While moments later, on the same program, young artists like Hozier (Sam Smith, Katy Perry and Annie Lennox, too!) are making powerful statements with their music. Hozier's song brazenly encourages change --  asking us, not subtlety, to assert ourselves through beautiful acts of love. In an interview about the "Take Me to Church" song Hozier states that it is not an inditement against “church” but against institutions that preach hatred as a part of doctrine. I have much respect for Hozier for using his new found fame altruistically, and with purpose.

Human rights challenges still rage on, and while the battle fields may be distant from home (especially here New York), everyday I am thankful for the truly spiritual and enlightened people in my life who do not condemn adults for whom they love...

...just some thoughts as we enjoy Valentine's Day 2015.  Amen.

With Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras falling ostensibly on the same week, I thought this Raimundo De Madrazo painting colorfully and playfully celebrates the season:

Spring is coming, I promise!

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