Mom and I had a really fun time while she was here. I bought a vacuum cleaner that gives me great joy (because I no longer have to succumb to "carperpetuation", the act of running the vacuum over and over a piece of dirt trying in vain to pick it up). We also spent some time looking at new furniture for our house, even though we didn't buy anything. We did a more thorough measurement of the floorspace in the house so we know how much hardwood flooring we'll need, and Mom got to see the house in all its unfinished glory. It was pretty hot, which no person traveling from Pennsylvania would enjoy, but I tried to keep her inside most of the time. =)

Jack met with the seller of the house yesterday, and he came away from it feeling really good about the whole process. We got the guy's phone number, so we no longer have to go through our well-meaning, pain-in-the-ass realtor who doesn't always get back to us right away... so this will eliminate the middle-man. We don't have the flooring quite nailed down (ha ha), but we're closer than ever, and the house looks to be finished on schedule, sometime around the end of this month.

In other news, we went to the Episcopal Church affiliated with LSU on Sunday, which I had been to once before but will probably never return to. The pastor there, who's also the Episcopal chaplain for the university, read a letter from the Louisiana bishop who had recently returned from the convention that approved the appointment of the first openly-gay bishop ever (a quick YAY!!). The Louisiana bishop confessed that he was troubled over the issue, and he said he had voted "no" to Bishop-elect Robinson's appointment and "no" to another issue facing the convention, whether to compose rites for same-sex unions to be approved three years from now. Both of these passed despite several negative votes, but apparently, state bishops will have the power to say "not in my state," so to speak, and ban the rites from being performed under their jurisdiction. Anyway, he explained his consideration of the issues, and I believe he isn't someone who despises the lifestyle because of homophobia or replusion or anything like that. He seemed to have given it a great deal of thought and still to have come to the conclusion that homosexual behavior and the church don't so much mix. After reading this letter, the chaplain said that he agreed with the bishop's opinions. He explained his earnest hope that the church not split because of this, and he reminded us that Jesus, not political issues, should be the church's focus. I respect his prayerful consideration of how to deal with this question, but I don't think I can ever look to someone like that as a spiritual leader. By the middle of his sermon, I was crying, and I continued to cry for most of the rest of the service, because as long as I live in this state, I'm living in a place that for the most part doesn't agree that my dad would have had the same rights and mechanisms as a straight man to declare his love for someone, if he had found that someone while he was living. I cried not because of what the bishop and this pastor said, but because they honestly believe that homosexuality is a sin. I had been elated when I heard Gene Robinson the day after the vote in an NPR interview, and I kept thinking, "Wow, it's a good week to be an Episcopalian!" I got a harsh reminder that my church isn't unified on this issue, and people are talking about it splitting sometime in the future. We didn't split when women were finally allowed to become priests; heck, we were the only major church in the United States that didn't split over slavery during the Civil War. It's hard to accept that all that unity and positive cooperation could be ending. It certainly makes me wonder how long it will be before gays and lesbians will get the treatment to which they're entitled, especially in a country whose laws are supposed to be separated from its religious beliefs. We'll see.

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