So right before fall break, I happened upon a very small peace vigil in "downtown" Middletown. It was a few old guys with peace signs standing in front of the episcopal church. So I stood with them for a while, holding a sign with a pro-peace message on it and decided to come back the next monday after fall break. Being active is important. Maybe more so in tiny towns than in big cities where everyone expects you to be.
today I came back and it was raining, not hard but apparently enough to make the ink run on their signs, so they were standing in the church door, instead of down on the sidewalk. They were all fired up about the march on Washington, which they had gone to, but I did not. I stuck my bike in the vestibule and went to stand with them. Only one guy was holding a sign and it said "Jesus is the Prince of Peace." I picked up some sign about the administration lying and we stood in the church door while they stood around and dissed the Green party. The Greens in CT are apparently less together than they are in CA and are apparently looking to get some of the peace crowd to join the party. These guys were tired of the Greens trying to convert them, especially since they're so inneffective (because they have so few members) blah blah blah. Uh, yeah. I'm a Green. they've been tremendously successful in Germany. then the subject switched to SUVs. A woman there was talking about how tiny women drive SUVs. tiny women! They have no buisiness driving that kind of car! they get in accidents!
I switched the subject to SUVs as a symptom of class warfare, lest I start defending the right of tiny women to drive any car they damn well please. and it went around for a while until the Quaker woman standing next to me said that she was uncomfortable with the Jesus sign. I pointed out that it was impossible to tell whether the guy holding it was a pacifist or a bible thumper. He got adamant about how this was a religious peace group and he was not taking Jesus out of it. It was bad enough that they had to quit carrying the pro-Palestine signs because the local Rabbi had complained. and then the subject wended around to Jews.
It's a small town. folks in a small town might not know the difference between Zionists and Jewish people as a group. The problem with Jews . . .. Oh but that one guy that spoke at the march was Jewish . . . blah blah blah. yikes. So I ran away.
As I was retrieving my bike, they seem to have come back to their religious (Christian) identity. "We're a religious group!" the guy with the Jesus sign was saying. Quakers. Catholics. etc. "Actually, I'm an atheist." I said as I snapped on my helmet. yes really. maybe, indeed I would turn to God on my deathbed, who can know the future?
they want me to come back next week, maybe so they can convert me back to being catholic, or maybe so I can convert them all to being Green.
I reported all of this to Aaron, my housemate, and he said, "wow. Greens. Women. Athesists. you're lucky they didn't start talking about gay people."
indeed. I need a new peace group.