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March 16, 2011     The Sun Paper
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2 The Sun, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 PINION Remembering St. Patnck, JFK =Being Irish (Catholic)for a day wasn't always easy By Bruce T, Murray Guest Columnist On St. Patrick's Day, Americans of all stripes celebrate Irishness--or imbibe in all things IristP-without political or reli- gious reservation. But being Irish in America wasn't always so carefree, primarily due to the issue of being Catholic in America. When the American colonial experiment began in the early 17th century, reverberations of the Protestant Reformation were still rumbling through Europe and Britain: Europe was about to descend into the catastrophic Thirty Years War (1618-1648), which stemmed initially from conflicts between Catholics and Protestants; and beginning in 1642, the English Civil War pit- ted Parliamentarians and Puritans against King Charles I, whose opponents deemed to be not sufficiently Protestant. Against this troubled backdrop, Irish Catholics---or any other kind of Catholic--were not welcome in Protestant-domi- nated colonial America (with notable exceptions in Maryland and Rhode Island). The cold war between Catholics and Prot- estants lasted well into the 20th century, finally deflating in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was elected the first (and only) Catholic president of the United States. "I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all," Kennedy said in his landmark 1960 speech to the to the Greater Hous- ton Ministerial Association. The history of religious pluralism in America is surveyed in the University of Massachusetts Press book, Religious Lib- erty in America: The First Amendment in Historical and Con- temporary Perspective by Bruce T. Murray. "This concise and readable book discusses topics relating to the religion clauses of the First Amendment and, more gen- erally, to the interaction of religion and politics in the United States .... It is a highly accessible introduction to the topics it addresses, complete with references for documentation or fur- ther reading .... The book is well written, engaging, and bal- anced in its presentations of competing views," said Daniel O. Conkle, professor of law and adjunct professor of religious studies, Indiana University (from the July, 2009 issue of the Catholic Historical Review). "This book is a helpful introduction to religious freedom in America today, and in history. Implications of the First Amend- ment affect a great many dimensions of our social andpersonal lives, and Bruce T. Murray provides a historical map as context for considering questions that we continue to try to answer to- gether," said Elizabeth Tauba Ingenthron, graduate theological union (from the Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2010). Religious Liberty in America is available at libraries throughout the world, and it may be purchased from the Uni- versity of Massachusetts Press. Letters to The Sun Bruce T. Murray is an educational writer, entrepreneur and law student (class of2013). He is the president of Web Sage Con- tent Development, a consultancy that delivers numerous publish- ing and Web-related services. Murray is an award-winning au- thor andjournalist. In 2008, the UniversiO of Massachuserts Press published his book, Religious Liberty in America." The First Amend- ment in Historical and Contemporary Perspective. Where to write your lawmakers U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, 223 Dirksen Senate Office Build- ing, Washington, DC 20510-3703. Phone (202) 224-5244. Local office: 911 NE 1 lth Ave, Suite 630, Portland, OR 97232. Phone (503) 326-7525. Website: http://wyden.senate.gov/ U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, Office 107 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510. Phone (202) 224-3753. Salem Office: 495 State St., Suite 330 Salem, OR, 97301. Phone (503) 362-8102. Website: http://merkley.senate.gov/ U.S. Rep. David Wu - Oregon-lst Dist., 2338 Rayburn HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone (202) 225-0855. Portland Office, 620 SW Main, Suite 606, Portland, OR 97205. Phone (503) 326-2901. Toll Free (800) 422-4003. Website: http://www.house.gov/wu/ U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon-5th Dist., 314 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone (202) 225-5711. Salem District Office, 494 State Street, Suite 210, Salem, OR 97301. Phone (503) 588-9100. Website: http:// schrader.house.gov/ Governor John Kitzhaber, 160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street, Salem, OR 97301-4047. Phone: Governor's Citizens' Representative Message Line 503-378-4582. Sen. Brian Boquist - Dist. 12; 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1712. E-mail: sen.BrianBoquist@state.or.us Rep. Jim Thompson - Dist. 23; 900 Court St NE, H-388, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1423. Email: rep.jimthompson@state.or.us Rep. Jim Weidner - Dist. 24; 900 Court St NE, H-387, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1424. Email: rep.jimweidner@state.or.us Oregon Legislative Information and Citizen Access: Phone 1-800-332-2313. Yamhill County Commissioners: Kathy George, Leslie Lewis, Mary Stern, Yamhill County Courthouse, 535 NE Fifth Street, McMinnville, OR 97128. Phone 503-434-7501. Polk County Commissioners: Mike Propes, Mike Ainsworth, Craig Pope. Polk County Courthouse, 850 Main St., Dallas, OR 97338-3174. Phone 503-623-8173. The Sun i =,, -lll; 493-g40 Clinton Vining EDITOR and PUBLISHER POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun, 136 E. Main Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Periodicals postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATE (one year): $29 in Yamhill/Polk County. $39 out of area. Payment must be received by noon Fnday for subscription to start with the following Wednesday's edition. DEADLINES: Letters to the editor, society and church news, press releases, general -- Noon Friday. Legal notices, display -- 5 p.m. Friday. Classified display -- Noon Monday. Classified ads -- 5 p.m. Monday. Phone: (503) 843-2312. Fax: (503) 843- 3830. E-mail: news@sheridansun.com POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, RO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR. 97378. Thanks for help To the Editor: AMVETS Post 2000 re- cently conducted a Dinner / Sweetheart Dance fundraiser and would like to express our appreciation to the following businesses in Willamina and Sheridan for their support: Stuck Electric, Asalache Mexican Restaurant, The Pink Poodle, Select Markets, Figaro's Pizza, Sheridan Pizza, Terry's Auto, Curls Cuts and More, Car Quest, TS Market, Sheridan Hardware, Sheridan Drug Store and Sheridan Building Supply. Thank you. Mark Weippert Post Commander AMVETS Post 2000 VcTllamina Letters are welcome, but must be signed Yes, we like letters. But they must be signed or they won't be published. Please provide a telephone number--for verification pur- poses only. The phone number will not be published. All letters are subject to ed- iting. Please limit length to 300 words or less. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Send your letters to EO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR, 97378. You may also e-mail to: news@sheridansun, com. ! !1 i Sharing grows community, simplifies your life and builds your bottom line By Emily Chadwick Columnist, The Sun Saving money is easy, don't spend it. It is a simple plan. But when I recently sat down with a few other Yamhill County women, the plan, we commis- erated, didn't feel all that simple in action and isolation seemed the reason. Kourtney Wessels loved her expatriate life in South America. "Life was perfect in Ecuador," she said' "and simple and sweet." The rhythm of days was markedly slower, said Wessels; life was about relationships, not material wealth and the accu- mulation of stuff. After living four years abroad, she and her husband made the happy and difficult choice to move home. They had a brief layover in Portland' be- fore putting down serious roots and buying a home in McMinnviUe. While she enjoys being closer to family, she finds re- adjusting to the bustle of a consumer driven culture dif- ficult. While living in Portland she participated in the Sunnyside Swap Shop, a co-op that, in addition to providing a place for children and their parents to gather and play, had an orga- nized "swap" of toys, clothes and other items. This eliminated the need to go out and buy many things; she traded items she no longer needed for the things most of us would pur- chase at the store. "Having just moved to town from Quito, this place was my life saver. It made me feel less isolated and brought me and my son out of the home to interact with the community in a very positive way," said Wessels. The Swap Shop pro- vided community in a place where people otherwise gath- ered behind closed doors and 6-foot fences, if they made time to gather at all. "We live more isolated lives in the United States, with ev- eryone tucked away in their homes and cars," Wessels said. "Here my friends and family are busier. There is less time for the spontaneity of stopping by someone's front porch on a ran- dom Tuesday. Sure, it does hap- pen here, but not to the extent that it did in Quito. We rush too much, work too much, eat too much, watch too much TV, buy too much. We just do every- thing too much. "I'm still working on keep- ing a little bit of that pace and simplicity from Ecuador. It's hard to do when you have to keep up with everyone around you, though." Big city folks might chortle at the "fast-paced" lives we lead here in the sleepy towns of the YamhiU Valley, but we are busy people, nonetheless, with work and meetings and lessons and shopping. And then there are those Joneses we must keep up with too. It's an exhausting pace re- ally. And despite appearances, not everyone caught up in the rtmning around' like Wessels, desires to be in the race. That was the case for those of us who sat down the other night to talk about the plight of motherhood. Several of the women in attendance, like me, are stay at home or work from home morns whose households felt the financial strain when they left the traditional workforce to be home with their young children. We couldn't help but talk about ways to save money. We asked: how do we stop spend- ing our limited resources on things that don't nurture and satisfy? How can we make what we already have feel like enough? Connecting with oth- ers around the table felt like a step in the right direction, if not the lifeline we'd been looking for. We talked about the notion of bartering and what it could do---I'll give you a yoga ses- sion if you hem my pants sort of thing. Eliminating the exchange of money was particularly in- teresting to Anna Barsotti, a McMinnville based mom and yoga instructor. "Bartering is something whose time has re- turned," she said. "It puts a sense of respect and owner- ship into how people work to- gether, and helps create a sys- tem that values what people can do." It might not make sense on paper when dollar amounts are assigned to items and tasks, but that sort of thinking might be beside the point. Trading skills and goods changes the way we interact with fi'iends and neigh- bors thus making community an integral part of life, not sim- ply a place to live and perhaps a bit more like the way Kourtney Wessels experienced life abroad. Shannon Duma doesn't own an edger. When she needs to do some edging, she borrows one from her dad, who lives down the street. She also loans her lawnmower out to a friend. "It's just being neighborly," she said. what's the lawnmower to homeowner ratio is in your neighborhood. 100 percent? what would happen if we began to purchase things col- lectively? Four neighbors could spend $50 each to purchase a $200 lawnmower. Or instead, opt to eliminate the purchase al- together and just share like Sh- annon. The opportunity for sav- ings is great, but I wonder if scheduling conflicts and poten- tial maintenance disputes would be worth the money put aside. It might be easier to pur- chase food in bulk and share the cost with friends than to pass around the garden shears. But then again, you just never know where one act or gesture leads. Sharing oats and beans might work so well that split- ting the cost of a leaf blower is the next logical step in the re- lationship. This conversation will likely continue, and I'm not exactly sure where it is heading, but I'm happy to be a part of it along with Kourtaey, Anna, Shannon and the other adventurous women who are searching out different ways to share re- sources, save money, and inter- act in new ways. The fact that we, women from nearly every town in the county, are raising these ques- tions suggests that the commu- nity at large is ripe for this sort of thinking too. At least for now, there are 10 families feeling far less alone, and 10 women no longer isolated. Emily Chadwick is a local writer who can squeeze three meals from a four pound bird find the best deal in the bargain basement, and on occasion, collects roadside items labeled "free." She welcomes ideas' and feedback at byemily chadwick@gmail, com.