Thursday, June 27, 2013

Legal Marriage vs Holy Matrimony: A Primer

As everyone surely knows by now, the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and that same-sex couples have the same right to marriage as anyone else.

Cue the wailing from the anti-equality folks.
After the court struck down in a 5-4 decision on Wednesday Section 3 of the federal law that recognizing marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) issued a statement.
 "Marriage was created by the hand of God,” Bachmann said in the statement. “No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted."
There is so much wrong with this, it's hard to to know where to start. But I'll try. First, Bachmann is unclear on the distinction between legal marriage and holy matrimony. The Court ruled that everyone is legally entitled to the rights and protections of legal marriage. They said nothing about God, churches or holy matrimony. Churches still retain the right to discriminate and deny the rites of matrimony to anyone they choose. Catholic Churches can still refuse to wed non-Catholics, Synagogues can still refuse to wed Gentiles, and fringe churches can still refuse to marry inter-racial couples, divorced men, trophy wives, celebrity dopplegangers, and door-to-door salesmen if that's what the tenets of their faith command them to do.

Get it? Nothing from yesterday's ruling changes holy matrimony for anyone. Churches that previously allowed same-sex couples to wed will continue to do so and churches that refused to wed same-sex couples can continue to refuse.

And to the legal marriage aspect, well, man has been undoing them as long as there has been the institution of marriage.

So, let's review:

  1. Holy Matrimony: No change
  2. Legal Marriage: Now inclusive
  1. Holy Matrimony: Church based
  2. Legal Marriage: Civil government based
  1. Holy Matrimony: Spiritual
  2. Legal Marriage: Not spiritual
  1. Holy Matrimony: Sanctioned by God
  2. Legal Marriage: Recognized by government
  1. Holy Matrimony: Private
  2. Legal Marriage: Public
  1. Holy Matrimony: Based on religion
  2. Legal Marriage: Based on the Constitution

How are we doing so far? Everyone keeping up? Because it really isn't that complicated. The individual (or collective) beliefs of a church dictate that church's response to same-sex couples wanting to marry. But, those beliefs have zero impact on whether or not a same-sex couple chooses to be married in the eyes of the law.

If you are opposed to same-sex couples getting married, you can still voice that opinion. You can still rally with your church members and speak out against it. What you can no longer do, however, is deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and protections that come with legal recognition of marriage.

There. I hope that clears that up. And just for grins, here's a picture of my husband, Ric, and I after our marriage ceremony on July 4th, 2008.

P.S. If you are under the mistaken impression that Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are equal to marriage, here is just one example of how they differ.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Y U No Tri?"

Since getting up off of my couch in June 2010, I've done a lot of things I never thought I would. From Obstacle Challenges to Relays to Marathons, I've taught myself to say "Yes!" to whatever new opportunity presents itself.

It was only a matter of time, then, before this question presented itself to me:

Yep, it was inevitable. Friends think it's time for me to go all in and compete in a triathlon.

And I thought about it. I really did. It would be a new challenge, certainly, and it would require a big step outside of my comfort zone. It's the perfect next step.

Still, I resisted. I couldn't quite get myself to the point where taking part in a triathlon sounded like something I wanted to do.

Finally, I understood why I was pushing back against the idea.

I don't want to.

What, you were expecting something earth-shattering and brilliantly insightful? Sorry, not this time. It really is as simple as that.

I enjoy running. Not every day and not every run, but overall. I love how it makes me feel. And I enjoy the different types of runs, too. Marathons are a very different challenge than a weekend relay race, for example. But it's still running.

Biking annoys me. I don't like relying on a piece of equipment to get me from Start to Finish. If my legs hurt, I can press on. But if my tires go flat, I'm screwed. It's that dependence on something other than myself that bothers me.

Swimming? Meh. I like being above the water when boating and I enjoy being under the water scuba-diving, but swimming? No, thanks. It just doesn't appeal to me.

And here's the weird part. I'm okay with saying "no." I don't feel like I'm missing out, or wimping out, or somehow less of an athlete because I don't want to compete in a full triathlon. I'm comfortable watching from the sidelines, cheering on my amazing TRI friends, and enjoying my runs.

Monday, June 24, 2013

50 State Running Challenge... Accepted.

My friend (and Ragnar Teammate) Rik is planning to run a marathon in each of the fifty states. Pretty impressive, right? I've decided to take that idea and modify it just a bit. Instead of marathons, I am going to count any official, organized running event.

Yes, I am aware it's a big challenge. But what the heck? I'm not setting any time limit on it. As long as I am still able to run (or walk, if it came to that), I can still work on crossing states off of my list.

So far, I have run in seven states.

Obviously, I have run other events. But the ones listed here are the first for each of the states.

So... where to next?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Commence Operation Awesome!

Tomorrow morning marks the 1st day of my 18-week training program as I prepare to run the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28th.

But, John, you've already run the Marine Corps Marathon.

Yes, I have. It was my very first marathon and I ran a respectable 4:49. But I want to do better.

But John, you did run better. You ran the Pasadena Marathon last year and ran a 4:40.

Yes, I did. And I'm very proud of that. I trained very hard and was completely prepared on race day. And I want that again. Unfortunately, I am not at all ready. Thus, the 18-week training program.

The truth is, I'm very proud of my accomplishments since completing my first marathon. Since October 30th, 2011, I have run many 5k and 10k events, multiple relay races, sixteen half marathons and four full marathons. I have challenged myself and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

But... and you know there's a but... for the last six months, I've struggled. After running Ragnar Florida with my amazing From Fat To Finish Line teammates, my motivation has steadily declined. I've continued to take part in events, but my day-to-day efforts haven't been nearly what I need.

Maybe it was inevitable, this "now what do I do?" time in my life. I've worked hard and achieved much, but now I'm left wondering how to keep going. What challenge is left for me?

And that is how Operation Awesome came to be. I know myself enough to know that I do best when presented with a very specific, very detailed, and very difficult challenge. I have to feel like I am pushing myself to my limits for me to remain consistent, so that's what I'm doing.

Beginning tomorrow, I will follow my training program to the letter. I may do a little more or run a little farther than it asks, but I will not do less. I will also get my eating back under control by tracking my meals and all of my snacks. (You can follow me here on MyFitnessPal/SanDiegoJohn.)

It's a lot to ask of myself, I know, but it's totally worth it. And when I step up to that Start Line in the shadow of the Pentagon, I will feel confident that I am as ready as can be to take on the challenge of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Washington, DC, here I come!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who's Gonna Know?

With so many children in the Patriquin family, there's no chance that I would ever actually be the only one with memories of my Grandparents. But still, my heart breaks thinking of the times that the three of us had, times that now only exist in my memory.

I have missed my Grandmother since she left us in 1995. And now, my Grandfather is gone. And this world will never feel the same for me.

Who's Gonna Know?
by Kathy Mattea

On the top of my desk mid the clutter and dust
Sits an old eight by ten black and white
It's one of my favorite pictures of us
I'll carry with me all my life

I must have been about five or six
Mom's hair was still brown and dad's was still thick
But to look at it now sometimes I get scared
To think that someday they might not be there

Cause who's gonna know but me who'll help me recall those small memories
When I'm all that's left of this family of three who's gonna know but me

Down in the cellar under the steps
Sits an old box of junk that I've saved
Newspaper clippings letters and cards
Even some code-a-phone tapes

Slices of life I can hold in my hand
And show to my kids so they might understand
In those years to come when they ask me some night
What grandma and grandpa used to be like

Cause who's gonna know but me...

If life were a video I could rewind
I'd go back and slow down each moment in time
Then I'd disconnect the fast forward button
So I'd have forever to tell 'em I love 'em
The older I get I can't get enough of 'em

Cause who's gonna know but me...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finally, Together.

On Saturday, June 8, 2013, Robert Patriquin was reunited with the love of his life, Shirly Ann Patriquin. And finally, he was home again.

See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sun rise on a tropic isle
But just remember, darling, all the while
You belong to me
See the marketplace in old Algiers
Send me photographs and
Just remember when a dream appears
You belong to me
I'll be so alone without you
Maybe you'll be lonesome too and blue
Fly the ocean in a silver plane
See the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember till you're home again
You belong to me
I'll be so alone and without you
Maybe you'll be lonesome too and blue
Fly the ocean in a silver plane
See the jungle when it's wet with rain
But remember, darling, till you're home again
That you belong to me