“Wow! What a week for the news.”
That was how I’d planned to start this post. Until I read Gail Collins’ column in Saturday’s New York Times. “Ed!” I wailed. “Gail Collins stole my lead!”
Collins wrote: “Wow, Supreme Court – what a week…” And after some comments on Republicans’ reactions, she added “The Roberts Supreme Court is on a roll. Gay marriage, national health care and a surprising vote of support for the Fair Housing Act. Great job, guys!”
My “Wow! What a week…” was intended to be followed by acknowledgement of the momentous Court rulings, followed by my admiration for the dignity and grace with which the families in Charleston, SC handled the horrific killing of their loved ones in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and wind up with my delight for the masterful eulogy President Obama delivered at the funeral for that church’s pastor. And the fact that he broke into singing “Amazing Grace.” Rachel Maddow’s program on MSNBC turned the entire second half of the newscast to uninterrupted video of the president’s speech which commentators are now calling “one of his presidency’s most impassioned reflections on race.”
If I’d left the newscast that night and made my way to my desktop computer to write what I’d planned, then Gail Collins would have had to steal from me. But instead, I convinced Ed to join me in watching a streaming of “The Butler,” a film I’d watched the night before, even though at two hours in length it might strain my husband’s Friday night endurance. “It’s about the times in which we’ve lived,” I urged him. The movie was inspired by the real-life story of Eugene Allen, a longtime butler in the White House who is played in the film by Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker. We both watched it, me for the second time, transfixed.
And now today’s paper tells me that my church, the Episcopal Church, has elected an African-American man for the first time as its presiding bishop. Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina succeeds the current presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first woman to lead the 1.9 million member church, the U.S. body of the Anglican Communion with 80 million members worldwide. As such, Jefferts Schori was the first woman to lead an Anglican national church.
We have indeed lived in transforming times.