Thursday, June 30, 2005

a generous orthodoxy: snooze

i tried, really.
i got halfway through it when i lost all steam. i fell over in a fuzzy, sweater like snooze.
i'll finish it over the holiday weekend.

my findings, so far: he's not crazy, i think some people don't understand what he means by 'postmodern' (remember, people, he's an ENGLISH PROFESSOR!), and i think the whole emergent church thing, while interesting, is not as earth-shattering as some people think.

get over it.

ok, i gotta leave the office so i can meet friends for a drink and then a taping of wait, wait don't tell me!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

fatherhood v. feminism (v. class)

Slice of Laodicea: Calling All Fathers

so which is it? what is killing young women today? weak fathers or evil feminism?

The daughter of a loving father is the beneficiary of a precious oversight that keeps her from the very real threats that menace her purity and safety. But America has thrown out God’s headship and authority in the biblical model of the family. Much of the church has, as well. Natalee is the unfortunate heir to a legacy of bitterness and death called feminism. Feminism laughs at the notion of loving headship. Feminism declares that females can take care of themselves, that they have need of nothing and that the very notion of innocence and purity is laughably archaic. Effeminized fathers go right along with this notion now, sending their daughters off to war in Iraq while their sons win football scholarships and sending their teen-age daughters off to Caribbean islands to party all night with strange men.

and before anyone assumes i'm saying natalee totally should have gone out drunk with three men, i'm not saying that. i actually look at adolescents with a mixture of contempt and fear: they're just crazy and stupid enough to do anything so, frankly, i don't think they should be allowed to be anywhere without a responsible adult around.

i'm saying *MY* parents would never have let me go to a foreign country for my senior class trip. not only could i barely get permission to go to a school dance across town, spending money to send me to party with my friends across the border smacked of something only rich white kids did. for my working class folks, a trip like this was not for us.

so. let's adjust the lens a bit: instead of blaming feminism how about looking at how a bourgois sense of entitlement (that runs rampant through middle class culture) seems to create these intersections of permissive behavior/bad decision making/getting the native populations in trouble? (i'm sure the local population really enjoys american tourism...)

via bad christian who had some interesting things to say about fatherhood in his post.

under the robe

from Real Live Preacher a telling post about the hidden parts of a pastor. it reminded me of a conversation i had with my father years ago about something he and i never would have discussed had i not moved away from home.

i said, 'do you know how my adolescence would have been completely different for me if you told me this when i was 16?'
he said, 'you were too young to deal.'
i said, 'does the church know you think this?'
he said, 'if they did they'd freak. they wouldn't be able to deal with it. so i don't tell them. i'm only supposed to bring them the Word. not let them into my head.'

telling, huh?

Monday, June 27, 2005

intercessory prayer: not for delicate flowers

i forgot to post this last weekend but here's how my second day of deacon duties went:

rotarians descended on the city. did you know the rotary club began in chicago? i had no idea. neither did roomie as we left the apartment early to fulfill our church duties downtown. we skipped the actual services to drive down lake shore drive and michigan avenue, killing time.

when we blithely arrived at the stately gray church, we were prepared to speed through church tours, intercessory prayer and a little glad-handing. the presbyterians know how to really make you relaxed, you know? no baptist-like stress or angst here.

i sat in the stone chapel, waiting for someone to come in for prayer. everyone had told me, 'it's no problem; no one ever comes in.' oh! foolish hope! the final hymn had barely finished before a neatly dressed woman stepped inside and shut the door behind her. she sat next to me and whispered that her brother had recently died alone and unclaimed in another state.

and so i took a deep breath, held her hand and we prayed together.

when she left, i stayed behind and sobbed for five minutes. (bad time of year for me to be thinking about dead family members.)

my roomie was faring no better; her church tour was stalled at the transcept while a short asian woman grilled my roomie on the exact doctrinal tenets of our church and the specific wording of the apostles creed. i could see the sweat on my roomie's brow as she desperately tried to wrench back control of the tour group and direct their attention to the fine skinner pipe organ in our choir loft.

needless to say, we spent the rest of the afternoon huddled in our apartment shunning contact with our fellow man, watching taped episodes of british serial killer tv shows.

what a feminist man looks like


warning: he talks like a sailor.

This Space For Rent: I Am Not My Cock

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

texas: no place to be gay

i missed this speech by rep. senfronia thompson when they passed this bill. but it circled back to me today from a friend through email.

this weekend is pride weekend in chicago. reading thompson's speech reminds me why we still need gay activism.

Monday, June 20, 2005


When I was a mama

this is a lovely post from dr. bitch about allison crews and her recent death. crews was a single mother, a teen mother, and ran a board on her essay (included in bitch's post) is about her experience as a single mom and why she kept her son. as one of those women who often level those 'eww, teenage mom' looks, i was moved by her words.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers

Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers - New York Times

who knew danforth was an episcopal minister?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

oh, bubba.

i got this from the revealer, the collection of religious news that looks at everything aslant.

my favorite paragraph:

"I got sick of preachers telling me how great Reagan was." (He voted for Reagan in 1980, though he now claims, "I was drunk.") "Jesus don't give endorsements," Mudcat thunders. "He don't give a damn about partisan politics. G-O-P, God's Only Party--that's bool-sheet. And it's bool-sheet that He's a Democrat--they'll tell you to doomsday about Him healing the sick and clothing the nekkid, as if that's proof. He's too big to get involved in partisan politics. I know this, because when I'm in politics, and pray about it, I don't get any answers. But when I pray about my heart, I get an answer right now."

it's bracing. (actually that wasn't my favorite paragraph, it was just the more pinpointed one. this is actually my favorite paragraph:

By now, it should be clear that Mudcat has a foul-language problem. It is the rare utterance that goes by without some similar indelicacy. But he doesn't curse for shock value so much as for percussion, working the blue words like a kick-drum to help his sentences get off on time. "My vocabulary is less than 200 words," he says by way of apology, asking at one point, as a favor to his aged mother, that I not quote him saying he no longer goes to "goddamn church." I accede. (What he actually said was "f--ing church.")


on the couch

Going to the Therapist En Route to the Altar - New York Times

i don't know why i'm posting this...i guess to get away from the women in ministry thing. bad taste in my mouth.

(thanks, dad!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

choking big bird

Free Press : Put the Public Back in Public Broadcasting

you know that petition that keeps circulating on email about saving npr and sesame street? well, it looks like we might actually need it.

click on the links and do what you gotta do.

Monday, June 13, 2005

via postsecret Posted by Hello

lest i be accused of 'imbalance'...

so on one side we get a bunch of christians who don't like, among a lot of things, the Gay Games (in Chicago this year!) and on the other we have christians who boycott to help honduran workers at burger king.

LA Weekly: The New Blacklist

that christian conservatives are targeting corporations that give minimal lip service to the gay community is not the point of this post.

that should be no surprise. if you can burn a book you can write a letter saying gay people throwing javelins don't deserve corporate sponsorship - or you'll never buy Tide again.

this is the point:

There’s one big problem: Nobody at the national level is tracking these Christer censorship and pressure campaigns in a systematic way, to quantify them or assess their impact, so that strategies to defeat them can be developed. “People for the American Way used to track this stuff, but they stopped doing so systematically in 1996. We at Political Research Associates would love to do it,” says Berlet, “but we don’t have the resources. Groups like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute or Americans United for Separation of Church and State could easily do this sort of work. But none of us has the money to do it, because nobody wants to give it. There used to be three major journalists writing about this stuff — Sara Diamond, Russ Belant and Fred Clarkson. But none of them could make a living doing it, and they’ve all dropped out of the game.”

Unless Hollywood, and the entertainment and broadcast industries, all want to live through an epoch of increasing content blackmail and blacklists, the wealthy folks who make a lot of money from those industries better wake up and start funding intensive and systematic research on the Christian right and its censorship crusades against sexual subversion and sin in the creative arts — or soon it will be too late, and the “theocratic oligopoly” of which Martin Kaplan speaks will be so firmly established it cannot be dislodged.

what's going on, big rich progressives? why is their side rolling in the dough and our side limping along? where's the money to go where our mouths are? their side is incredibly well-organized and ours is...what? balkanized? pathetic!

LA Weekly: Features: The New Blacklist

Thursday, June 09, 2005

social security and women: not just for your dad anymore

this is why being a policy wench is a good thing. never assume that all policies fit all populations the same way.

what's good for some middle aged white guy in the suburbs is not the same for a brown single mom in the city, or a brown family in the suburbs, or a single white woman or an Asian middle aged woman. different social contexts, needs, and exigent circumstances require different solutions.

pass it on and when the president visits your town with the specious argument that social security privatization will help save your family, know that he's mistaken.

and, yes, i work for them. it's still a cool piece of information.

did you get the memo? did you?

Democracy For America

in case there's anyone out there who still thinks this whole iraq situation was warranted, here's the memo that pretty much calls 'bullshit' on that.

Monday, June 06, 2005

'you heard God wrong', pt 2

Set Free: All About Call

thanks to songbird for taking this topic and putting it on her blog, too. go read the stories of women in ministry. whatever your thoughts are, it's always good to LISTEN. it's illuminating to read of women leading communities, raising families.

one thing i notice when i read blogs from women in ministry - their online lives are also about their domestic lives: what their kids are doing, how their spouses are living, how the gardens grow, the cats and dogs, the neighbors. all this as well as what's happening at the church: the bible studies, the sermon prep, the committee meetings.

thinking about my life as a pastor's daughter, i remember this time mostly as a time when my father was away from the home. there were bible studies, counseling sessions, speaking engagements, elder meetings, visitations. dad was present in the home, but if we had to clock the hours spent at home (until he moved his office to the house, that is) those hours would be few.

in contrast to the tired meme that women who lead ministries neglect their families, these women don't show that at all. they are, if anything, even more dedicated to their families and partners. they are wives, mothers, lovers, pastors. it's an incredible feat, this.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

it had to happen sooner or later

a commenter (you know who you are) thought my pointing readers to natalie's blog was really about women in ministry (which it wasn't). but now that you brought it up and clearly aren't down with it, and people's objections to it have always been a puzzlement to me, let's open it up.

it's fascinating to me that in all of these debates about women in ministry, the issues come from congregations/denominations that don't have them or allow them - so, why should they care? (is it a coincidence that they also seem to be denominations or church bodies with the most dysfunctional crap going on in it?) it's just a bunch of arguing back and forth between men about something that will never happen in their bodies. absurd.
how about talking to the women who are in ministry about how they got there. women who went to seminary, too, and probably know the bible just as good as you. but no; anti-women in ministry folk just assume she's some emasculating sapphira who just wants to get a jump on any man in her church (or maybe that's just the black churches i know.)
especially those of you other church gals out there in seminary or leading congregations or in ministry: if God didn't call you to ministry, who did?