Tuesday, May 31, 2005

panta ta ethne: ...neither male nor female...you are all one in Christ Jesus...

panta ta ethne: ...neither male nor female...you are all one in Christ Jesus...

another very thoughtful seminarian blog. (thanks, kevin, for pointing me to it.) i like her measured approach to her topics. for those wanting less rant and more reason, check her out.

mind: officially blown.

all i have to say is blame songbird.

A Christian BDSM Question & Answer Page

'they made up their own rat pack song!'

Pride and Prejudice (2003)

did you know there's a mormon version of the totally great austen novel?


neither did we when we started to watch it.

(20 minutes into it, after the crucial party scene, i say to my roommate, 'i think this is a church movie.' she says, 'no way.' later, after the heroine chastely rebuffs the rake, i say, 'i bet this was made by the church of latter day saints.' check it out. as movies made for religoius audiences go, it's not...that...bad.)

Monday, May 30, 2005

this is the 21st century, right?

Daddy's Girl: Courtship and a Father's Rights

to my dad:
thank you for being such a hard core dad during the formative years. thanks for raising us in los angeles. thanks for marrying mom, a woman full of down home philippino village wisdom. have i said thanks for not butting into my dating life? thanks for that. but even more important, thanks for not being a freak.

i could be eating barbecue but instead...

i'm trawling the b'sphere for shiny glittery things to catch my attention while the dishwasher finishes and i get ready to make some fried rice and continue reading brian mclaren.
(i could really go for some bbq right now. barbecued hot links...yum...barbecued baked beans...soft bread...orange soda....potato salad...good lord. where's a church picnic when you need one??)

eye on the ball: freedom of religion

Judge: Parents can't teach pagan beliefs

yes, yes, yes. they're wiccans. not the point.

"Religion comes up most frequently when there are disputes between the parents. There are lots of cases where a mom and dad are of different faiths, and they're having a tug of war over the kids," Falk said. "This is different: Their dispute is with the judge. When the government is attempting to tell people they're not allowed to engage in non-mainstream activities, that raises concerns." [emphasis mine]

here is a guy wondering if all us jesus bloggers will give a damn.

update: and here's the same guy with reactions from the b'sphere.

evangelicals & money, pt 3

slacktivist does a little close reading on ted haggard who said in a recent harper's interview:

"They're pro-free markets, they're pro-private property. ... That's what evangelical stands for."

oh, really?

[thanks, revealer]
have started reading brian mclaren's 'a generous orthodoxy.'
so far, not crazy. (but i'm barely into chapter 1 so that could change.)

found a promising team blog about the book here.

was also looking at (cough) the combo NIV/The Message while at borders. couldn't afford it but, in my grad student way, was curious to see how both matched up.

curiosity is a good thing, no?
was also on narthex duty today as part of my new job as deacon. over an hour greeting tourists and giving them information on our church. tiring, especially when you're wearing really cute tango shoes that aren't really practical for standing on flagstone.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

it's a strange question to pop into one's head at night before bed, but here it is: are mainline christians not really christians?

i guess i'm thinking about this because of the brian mclaren thing. i haven't read anything substantial by him, just a couple of essays on doubt and the media. although i now attend a presbyterian church i can't fight the fact i was raised baptist - the type of baptist whose pastor was a tight, arid man from texas whose moral code was as upright as a ditch post. this was a man who thought the moon landing was faked. this is the voice i hear in my head when i'm caught in a moral dilemma. for me, God sounds like pastor jake. and i don't necessarily like that.

it is my hunch that mclaren is not saying that his own reading of the bible replaces its intrinsic holiness. that's just a hunch of mine. (this means, of course, that i will have a big 'whoops' when it turns out that's exactly what he's saying, but until then, feh.)

i was at the public library tonight (to check out the mclaren book and they didn't have it, damn them!) and caught the tail end of eric michael dyson's talk 'was bill cosby right?'. (in essence, no. bill cosby was dead wrong.) dyson had a wonderful bit about coming at a person where they are. in his words, cosby comes at poor people and sees 'they're not like me and need to be fixed'; rather, dyson said, why can't we come at people where they are and bring them to where they need to be? this is how i see my mainline faith (see? there was a point). we come at people where they are. but i can't help feel that this is perceived to be a cop out. like, there's someone much stricter out there who says, 'you're not being a good christian because you're not as strict as you can be. strict faith is faith.'

and so we come back to faith being like a dry, cracked ditch post in an arid texas landscape.

update: lutheran chik has an excellent post on faith and doing that's sort of related to this. it clarifies things.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

i still don't get it

Welcome to Emergent Village

but having said all that about mclaren, i still don't get the whole emergent thing.

and this utterly baffling description on their website doesn't help. dudes. stop getting grad students to write your copy.

10 Questions for Brian McLaren

10 Questions for Brian McLaren

this'll make my dad pop a cork. i think he thinks mclaren is the sign of the disintegration of american christianity. he's (gasp) postmodern.

but i think he sounds not crazy at all. (maybe it was all those lit classes in college and grad school that make me not really wary of the word 'postmodern.')

i want to read his book, too. if he's crazy, i'll find it.

Holy Ivy: evangelicals and the ivy league, pt 2

a good summary and followup to the nytimes article on The Revealer. i think the two comments are thoughtful, too.

clearly, i can't sleep tonight.

prime snark


haven't read the jim wallis book yet (should have, months ago) but it's on the summer list (along with books about travel, angry feminists, jared diamond and maybe a comic book or five.)

but this kind of snark is the reason why The Revealer is one of my fave sites. love it. (hope its new incarnation kicks arse.)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

christian and ivy

Class Matters - Social Class in the United States of America - The New York Times

another in the nytimes series on class - this time, evangelicals and the Ivy League.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Revealer: Good God, Best Business Practices

kevin, i thought you'd appreciate this. seems christianity and capitalism are two very snug bugs, indeed. at least, BusinessWeek thinks so.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

how now brown cow?

a commenter is puzzled why i keep finding articles like the one about hager.
the answer is not just one thing.

one, i have a sick sense of humor. the fact that a guy who writes a book for women called 'as jesus loved women' (or something like that) and then it seems he paid his own wife for back door action, divorces her after accusing her of being crazy and seems to be guilty of marital rape - well, i think that's funny. it appeals to that gen X snark bone in my body. it's funny in that sick, shake your head, ain't life a crap kind of way. the kind of funny that makes you wish a big flaming comet would hurtle toward earth and put us all out of our obvious misery.

two, i appreciate cognitive dissonance, especially when it applies to our recent culture of 'i'm holier than thou.' there is a major slip in our culture when a man like hager is appointed to a high office making decisions that affect women's lives and our reproductive autonomy. is this my own personal bugaboo? you betcha. there's a slip when a man like that wears a public mask over a gross, sad private face and our culture, our politicians, our media, our other citizens won't say, 'you know, that's incongruent.'

three, i find patriarchal oppression of women sad - and deserving of scorn. i think it's sad that this woman realized she made a mistake when she first married this bag of nuts and, because of religious convention, decided to stay with him; i think it's sad that her inability to be autonomous sentenced her to marital rape (yes, it does exist); it's sad that she stayed in that situation, was even unfaithful to him, because she had no money of her own, no independence, no escape route.

it's an object lesson.

and, four. i find it hilarious that, apparently, the white house can't seem to run a basic background check on anybody. bolton's a swinger, hager's a bugger, and rent boys sit with the press corps. hilarious.

Dr. Hager's Family Values

the hager story i referred to before can be found here.

if i hadn't read the scarlet letter when i was a kid, i'd think this story was sad. instead it's just so...predictable.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

so happy

the glow still hasn't dissipated (or is that with two p's?). work at Large NonProfit is totally fun and i've already been given a couple of grants to write. terror? yes. excitement? yes. this is exactly why i did what i did - i'm writing, i'm contributing, i'm actually using my education. thank goodness.

of course, check in with me in a couple of months, or even next week, and maybe i'll have a different story. (changing my story has been known to happen...)

blogging will pick up over the weekend when i have a chance to catch up.

meanwhile, have y'all read the stories about david hager? yikes. (will link later.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

when youth programs go horribly awry: Baby Got Book

or, when bad hip hop happens to good people.

[thanks to my friend K-.]

Monday, May 09, 2005

no mother's day here

Ms. Magazine "Not Women Anymore": The Congo's rape survivors face pain, shame and AIDS

the article is brutal. and shaming.

resources from the bottom of the page:

Anglo American, Banro and First Quantum are among approximately 20 multinational mining companies working in the DRC; they might be pressured to focus some attention on the crisis endured by Congo women.

The Panzi Hospital is run by PMU Interlife, the Swedish Pentecostal Mission, the sole funder for the hospital; they promise to channel all specified donations directly to Panzi: Box 4093SE-141 04 Huddinge, Swedene-mail info@spm.nu

Letters to urge more funding for the U.N. mission and to express outrage at the involvement of U.N. peacekeepers in furthering the abuse of Congo women should go to:

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
United Nations
First Ave at 46th St.
New York, NY 10017

[via blackfeminism.org]

Friday, May 06, 2005


this story is in the process of developing. apparently a local church revoked memberships and 40 others left the church after 'political tensions' reached a tipping point.

what political tensions? apparently you're not supposed to be a democrat if you go to church.

geez, people.

and who says prayer doesn't work?

The national woman centric non-profit just called to make me an offer and I SAID YES!! I'm in! I no longer have to prostrate myself before the hog of Capital!! Instead, I'll be laid out in front of the little squirrel called Service to Others!!

I'm so happy I could make myself a celebratory margerita right now! In fact, I'll do just that!

(In the meantime, if anyone knows of any nifty budgeting tricks and ways to get by on less than 32k/yr, I'd love to hear it. Really. I'm not kidding - I haven't had to live at that level since grad school.)

Yay!! (thanks for being such great cheerleaders, those who wished me luck!)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

good point

Sojourner's Truths: War

the double mind of our religious talk.

lesson in critical thinking, #1

back in high school, in my humanities practicum, mr takagaki would always ask us "why do you think?" it made us go past the conventional 'common sense' answer and start to probe hidden ideological values. critical thinking, people!!

so i give that question to you here: why do you think they've decided to do this?

solid as a rock. it's a porous rock but it's still a rock.

This is why every visit from my father is a fruitful one – each one gives me loads to process and think about. One thing that struck me while he and I debated, tussled and sparred, was the subject of strength. Very often an ideological line was invisibly drawn linking Christianity-masculinity-strength-truth. And this kind of theological word association was odd to me.
Let’s move away from my father, because this isn’t really about him. It’s more about Christian discourse. Our church culture conflates all these terms, flattening them until they’re indistinct from one another. (And for the dictionary deprived, ‘conflate’ does not mean ‘negate.’)

I wonder how we’ve arrived at this linguistic pancake. Although sermons and screeds are built around the idea of cultivating the faithful until we resemble concrete, I wonder if that’s true - if we should display ourselves like pillars of concrete. All our most moving narratives of Christian identity depict martyrdom – an extreme act of effacement. Christ’s sacrifice is the source of our faith; Paul even advises slaves to be content. In contrast, the perfect example of masculine pulchritude, King David wins on the battlefield but, because he succumbs to concomitant impulses (lust and pride), he suffers the eventual destruction and dissolution of his family and legacy.

So. Just for the sake of argument, what other narratives am I missing – either of ‘weakness triumphant’ or ‘strength run amok’? (Or even vice versa – brute strength being rewarded and praised as a virtue?)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


of my dad's visit this weekend:

breaking into an enthusiastic and impromptu toast to birth control with my girl friends in front of my father while he tries to snap a digital photo.

ah, good times. good times.