lummi island wine tasting feb 18 ’22

Wine Shop Schedule Update

Based on today’s updated Covid data for Whatcom County, we will remain closed this weekend. However, daily new cases have been falling rapidly, and as we go to press tonight there were no new cases reported today, a landmark to celebrate as the Omicron tidal wave gets past us. With luck we can all start exhaling again soon!

Gov. Inslee, like many other state governors, has announced an end to mask mandates in most places around the Spring Equinox on March 21. This is part of a trend described this week by Jennifer Rubin that those of us who have chosen to get fully vaccinated can stop worrying about trying to protect those who have not and will not. There is a growing consensus that in another month the risks will be as low as they are going to get, and the options for treating those who do get it continue to improve.

In preparation for reopening in early March, we are restocking our shelves, updating our online order/pickup links, and looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks!


Friday Bread This Week

Weekly bread order pickup will continue to be at Island Bakery this week.

If you are on the bread email list, you will have received order and pickup info from Janice. Pickup is in her driveway out on West Shore Rd from 4-5:30, with a fire pit to keep the Usual Suspects (and their dogs) comfy for a bit.

Current expectations are that bread pickup will likely return to the wine shop in some fashion when we reopen.






Mailing List Issues

Last week the new mailout system sort of worked, but with an unexpected delay. So still a few glitches.

This week we will be another test. Thanks for bearing with us; hopefully we will have it sorted out before we reopen in a couple of weeks!

Fingers crossed…again!







Economics of the Heart: Freedom from Religion

St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bangor, ME ca 1950

I started school a long, long time ago, in the fall of 1950, in a Catholic school in Bangor, Maine. I was four years old (birthday in the fall), and they didn’t call it kindergarten, they called it subprimary. The school was a three-story, very solid stone building with dark, windowless corridors and occasional overhead lights,  cave-like. But the classrooms were walled with windows and quite bright and pleasant.

My teacher was Sister Cecilia. She was young, bright, and charming, and the following year she was my teacher again in first grade, a good thing. In second grade things got complicated, and I went to a couple of schools in Hartford in the fall of ’52 before coming back to finish second grade at my old school in Bangor. My teacher then was a small, crotchety old nun who looked (to a little kid) for all the world like a witch. Kinda scary.

Several times a day we knelt in the aisles to say prayers, and on Fridays the whole school would spend much of the afternoon in the next-door old Church (beautiful but vaguely threatening) for novenas or rosaries. There was also Catechism, a little book with things to memorize and idealized cartoon pictures of little boys and girls so you could see how their pure white hearts got little black spots on them if they said a bad word, or did a bad thing, or ate meat on Friday. And if you did something really bad ( a Mortal Sin) and died before you went to confession and got communion, you would Go To Hell Forever and Ever. I can’t imagine I was the only one who had serious nightmares about all of that. Scary stuff. So I was about six years old when I started suspecting that Religion is the Original Authoritarianism. 

From third grade on I went to public school. It is hard to describe what a Relief it was to go to a well-lit, big-windowed “modern” school, with cheerful teachers in ordinary clothes, no threats of eternal damnation, no Dread of saying or doing something wrong and maybe having to go upstairs to Sister Mary Principal and get The Strap, sort of a black leather slide rule case she might hit you with and make you throw up when you came back to class and a janitor would come and pour stuff like eraser pieces on it so it wouldn’t smell so bad. It is still amazingly vivid, though I haven’t thought about it for 70 years. So yes, public school was a huge relief.

So it is with some serious concern that we read this recent article in Salon about the Supreme Court’s ongoing war against every American’s right to the freedom to Practice or NOT practice any religion as they choose, as recent Supreme Court decisions have begun to question. It is also very much worth noting that Two Thirds of the current justices are Catholic: Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, Barrett, and…one outlier, even-keeled Justice Sotomayor. Sadly, Justice Gorsuch is a “former” Catholic, with all the baggage that goes with it, and Kagan and Breyer are not. And though our Prez is a Catholic, let us all pray that he takes care not to appoint another one. More than Congress, more than the Cabinet, more than any other governing group, the Supreme Court should provide proportional representation of religious, racial, and ethnic ideology, and this court is Way, Out-of-control Catholic and White. Refer to paragraphs one and two above about why that is a Really Bad Idea.

The original Constitution was quite vague about many things, including religious freedom, saying only, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And this has left the fundamental question open for 250 years about whether citizens of this country have to right not only to practice whatever religion they choose, but also the secular freedom to make their own moral and ethical decisions. The obvious contradiction here is the Right’s insistence that on the one hand no one should be required to get a vaccine during a devastating Pandemic, but any woman can be forced to give birth from an unplanned pregnancy.

The controversy before us is whether every American is free to choose to follow or not follow the beliefs and practices of any particular religion. This is the realm of secularism, which we are apparently not clearly guaranteed by our Constitution. This ambiguity and the increasing Starboard (right) List of our current Supreme Court to impose the Catholic doctrine is made clear by this article, which provides a pretty good summary of the Right’s Assertion that our Country is and always has been “Christian.” And like all tyrannical regimes in history, it starts with the Book of the Law, declares their personal anointment as Interpreters of the Law, and asserts their Obligation to punish anyone who does not follow Their Law.


Wine Tasting

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