you must be a god damn idiot.
its CHRISTmas, why shouln't jesus be in it?
go to hell
WE PREPARE FOR THE MESSIAH
On retreat I once wrote in my journal, “How good of you, God, to make truth a relationship instead of an idea. Now there is room between you and me for growth, for conversation, for exception, for the infinite understandings created by intimacy, for the possibility to give back and to give something to You—as if I could give anything back to You.
You offer me the possibility to undo, to please, to apologize, to change, to surrender, and to grow. There’s room for stages and for suffering, for mutual passion and mutual pity. There’s room for mutual everything.” This is good religion, worthy of free, intelligent, and mature people!
From Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality p. 67
- Women's issues are my wife's crusade. Most of what she hears and reads and experiences is translated through a feminist lens, and evaluated via her passionate critique of misogyny and its expansive impact on society. She lives with the ongoing compulsion to do something productive about it. I'm incredibly inspired by this, and Jen has opened my eyes to so much I have taken for granted, assuming it was normative rather than symptomatic.
- Queer issues are my good friend Adele's crusade. After coming out a few years ago, she has passionately advocated for equality, social justice, tolerance and respectful religious dialogue. Adele, too, has helped me become aware of so many issues of prejudice and injustice that would have never occurred to me in my own tunnel-vision-reality! (maybe I'm just slow...)
- One of my professors is a zealot for Green Theology! His own view of God has radically evolved as he has explored the connections and synapses between stewardship and earth-keeping, and God and spirituality. It's a fascinating area that a lot of Evangelicals are [finally] getting excited about. Perhaps just in time...
For me, though, I don't feel like there's one definitive subject I am particularly passionate about. The Emergent Conversation was my "thing" for a couple of years, beginning in 2004 when I started writing about evolving faith and progressive cultural and philosophic ethos. Hence this URL. And I haven't stopped caring about Christian emergence... it's just that emergence is the process. A lot of us thought it was the answer. It was just the path to more (and bigger) questions about God and society and spirituality and the world.
So Emergent really can't be "my thing," because it isn't a thing (sheepishly, I believe Brian McLaren, Doug Paggit and Tony Jones have been saying that from the beginning). Worse, the folks who have made Emergent their permanent "thing" are really just mainstream Evangelicals - who aren't particularly different from typical Americans - finding a "style" (a superficial change of clothes and language) and sticking with it for way too long. Worse, they (we?/!) come to it very late (like Christian boy bands or Gospel Rap) and think it's the NEXT BIG THING... instead of last year's big thing.
Now some well-intentioned Christian idealists might like to say, "but JESUS is my crusade/passion/cause." And you might THINK that. And it sounds nice. But none of us manages to follow Jesus without bringing in all sorts of personal preferences and prejudices along the way.
- Someone might be passionate about JESUS's... contemporary Christian music.
- Someone might be passionate about JESUS... as he fits into the social circles at work.
- Someone might be passionate about JESUS... as he's communicated by their charismatic pastor.
- Someone might be passionate about JESUS's... social justice.
- Or JESUS'... kindness toward women/the poor/the marginalized.
- OR JESUS'... supernatural healing and miracles.
And honestly, none of those are bad. Not even the cynical first three. They are simply the reality of what human beings [with needs and wants] do with God. We make God in our image. Or the image of our ideals. And religion follows.
The biggest thing for me is realizing I AM a sponge for causes. Tell me yours, and I might jump on board! That's not because I'm so naive (which I might be) but because I just get so darned-excited about what God is doing in and through other people. And I'd like to stay that way. Academia (as much as I enjoy it) is centered on being a comprehensive expert on one very narrow field of interest. I'd rather stay casually informed about dozens of topics, stay excited about all of them, and find ways that their aims and priorities overlap and complement one another.
Glad I'm a sponge...
In Exodus 9, God speaks to an aching, battered, enslaved people, desperate for liberation: "But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
I'm enslaved by nothing less and nothing more than myself, and the safeties and securities I have constructed around me. I'm coming to believe that the definition of true power is only manifested in power's own surrender or sharing with those who do not have it. Thus the power of God is never demonstrated by demonstrable power, but by power acquiesced to the marginalized, the weak and the "least."
"As an American pastor," Warren said in his statement, "it is not my role to interfere with the politics of other nations, but it is my role to speak out on moral issues." He told the Ugandan pastors that the bill was "unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals." The bill's requirement that Ugandans report any meeting with homosexuals to authorities, he said, would hinder the ministry of the church and force homosexuals who are HIV positive underground. He also defended the timing of his denunciation. "Because I didn't rush to make a public statement," he said, "some erroneously concluded that I supported this terrible bill, and some even claimed I was a sponsor of the bill. You in Uganda know that this is untrue." He added, "I oppose the criminalization of homosexuality."
I think it is imperative that everyone in America and Canada learn ALL sides of their history. In America, we are not taught American Indian history in school. Only the so-called victors’ side of history is acknowledged. I will bet that Native history isn’t taught in Canada either. Even, myself, as a member of an Oklahoma tribe did not learn about my tribal, Oklahoma, and American Indian history in general until my own personal recent in-depth study. Like I mentioned, I have written a picture book about the destruction of my tribe. I am in a few writing critique groups. When one of the groups (all Caucasians) read my story, they asked me if they could read about this information in the library. I told them it was all there. They actually wanted to know more!
They were all shocked to find out that the land run (that our state celebrates each year through reenactments in our public schools etc.) actually stole land away from tribes. Yes, Oklahoma was formed on land thievery. Oklahoma schools even celebrate this. My son’s third grade class dressed up in European attire and had a land run reenactment. I wrote a letter to the school telling them that he would not be attending that day to celebrate the stealing of our tribal land. We celebrated our Native history instead with a trip to the Southern Plains Indian Museum in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The interesting thing is as I child I participated in the land run reenactment at school as my own parents did not know the history. My dad’s family was from Anadarko, Oklahoma and my great-grandfather wanted a better life for his kids and moved them to the city (Oklahoma City). My dad then went to an all white school and pretty much did what was passed down -- forgot he was Indian. We are all reclaiming that part of ourselves and it is like coming home.
Here is an interesting article regarding the history of the Oklahoma land run…
I know that the Trail of Tears story is taught in schools, but did you know that tribes like my own tribe which is actually aboriginal to Oklahoma already owned the land in Oklahoma? My tribe is one of those “uncivilized” tribes. Only the tribes that adopted the white lifestyle like owning slaves were considered civilized by the way.
Also, many people do not realize that the worse genocidal efforts were not of the Holocaust against Jews. It was the American Indian genocide that happened right here in America. Did you know that the U.S. government sterilized thousands of Native women, in many cases, without their consent?
Click here, on forced sterilization...
I’m not sure how we can get schools to teach the truth about American Indian history in schools. That is one of the reasons why I wrote my picture book. All I can do is pray, write about Native topics and teach my own children the truth. I told them the true story of Columbus and Thanksgiving. As for my own journey of repentance and reconciliation, I am honestly still working on that. God is slowly healing my soul. He has ignited a passion in me for writing the truth about history for children. I have a journalism background, but have finally found my calling.
By the early part of the twentieth century, there were only some 250,000 American Indians alive, their lowest ebb since millennia ago. Their population had been reduced in the four hundred years of recorded history by as much as 95 percent... [p. 105]
Click here and scroll to the bottom of the comments section to really see a beautiful kind of dialogue between stranges of very different backgrounds. It's a level of conversation I strive for (and often fail to attain).
Kim offered some links for further interest:
Also a book by Richard Twiss, an incredibly important voice in Native conversations...
Al, Kim, thank you both for your example.
(CNN) -- Music from late rapper Tupac Shakur has been included as part of the Vatican's official MySpace Music playlist.
The seat of the Catholic Church released a list of 12 songs onto the social networking Web site's streaming music service this week when the site launched in the United Kingdom. Among selections from Mozart, Muse and Dame Shirley Bassey is the slain rapper's song "Changes," which was released two years after his shooting death on a greatest hits album in 1998.
"The genres are very different from each other, but all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people," the Vatican wrote on its official MySpace Music page. As of Thursday night, "Changes" had been played more than 4.6 million times on the Web site. The list was compiled by Father Giulio Neroni, artistic director of church publisher St Paul's Multimedia. He was also responsible for compiling the Vatican's recent Alma Mater album, which combined Gregorian chants and prayers with classical music and the voice of Pope Benedict XVI speaking in five
... The lyrics of "Changes" describe Shakur's desire to change a grim life of drugs, crime and violence on the streets. Lyrics of the song, which is labeled as "explicit," include 'Is life worth living, should I blast myself?" "Give the crack to the kids, who the hell cares, one less hungry mouth on the welfare," and "My stomach hurts, so I'm looking for a purse to snatch."At another point, Tupac sings: "Cause both black and white are smokin' crack tonight..."
Ha! I love it. Now, as a feminist, I probably shouldn't celebrate 2Pac's veneration without some qualifiers. He was a deeply flawed young man. But he was a very young man, and his music was transcendent and conscious as often as (or more so) it was ignorant and vicious. 2Pac certainly wasn't any more misogynystic than St. Augustine or Tertullian.
So I celebrate with this bizarre olive branch extended by the Roman Catholic Church, to hip hop culture and those racially and economically marginalized.
2Pac meditated, "I wonder if heaven got a ghetto..." Maybe this move reflects the grace, complexity and strange juxtaposition inherent in the truth of that answer: "In contrast, the playlist also contains selections from the album "Music of the Vatican" such as "Advocata Nostra" and "Causa Nostrae Laetitiae." (CNN)
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