A Short Goodbye

It is with a bit of sadness that I write this. Some readers may have noticed in the past couple weeks, that I have not been filing my regular posts here. (To Jim Reed: Thank you for asking about me. I’m touched.) This is because I have taken a position with the good folks at the Pennsylvania State Education Association where I will be working to support teachers and educators and defend organized labor. I expect it to be a rather demanding job, and so, I submitted my notice to my RD editors because I don’t feel I could adequately juggle this new position and regular blogging.

It’s a position I’m very excited about. Like so many of us, I was moved last winter watching events unfold in Wisconsin, as teachers and other working-class people stood up to the cynical corporate-led attacks on collective bargaining rights—one of the last few ways non-rich folks can still level the playing field in this country. The day that farmers rolled their John Deere tractors into Madison in solidarity with the hardworking people who educate their children, I knew I wanted to join this fight.

In Pennsylvania, the corporate-backed attacks against education are coming in the form of drastic budget cuts and in support for unconstitutional voucher programs that would allow private and religious schools to discriminate against students with taxpayer dollars.

I had meant to write a goodbye post thanking both readers and the wonderful people at Religion Dispatches for all the support. But, I spent some time playing with the granddaughters, took a few days off kayaking with good friends. Then there were those rum slushies that my husband has been making, which he and I drink each night out on the deck as the fireflies dance around us. And, well, sitting down at my laptop to tap out one more post, especially one that makes me feel kinda wistful, didn’t seem especially pressing.

I have been remiss. And so, thank you everyone. I first started writing for Religion Dispatches only a few months after it was launched in the spring of 2008. Since then, it has grown into an indispensable and in-depth part of the daily conversation on religion today. I’m tickled to have, perhaps, played some small role in that.

Not that I won’t be continuing, I hope, to check in from time to time. Sticking up for civil liberties and monitoring attacks on education by the religious right will remain a regular part of my daily existence and I look forward to weighing in.

Thank you again,
Lauri Lebo