Saturday, January 26, 2008

Naive About Beauty and Wonder

From the series, Emotional Affair or Friendship Love?:

We're vulnerable to being naive about aspects of beauty and wonder in the other gender we are pursuing a friendship with.
[via Faith Dance]

Saving the Day...A Righteous Victory?

The Rambo franchise is a fantasy of total war whose very power derives from its nonspecificity. The only consistent message from film to film is "Rambo kills meanies with extreme prejudice";....

I don't doubt that Sylvester Stallone feels for the people of Burma. Still, setting his film there is a convenient way of allowing us the satisfaction of a righteous victory without finding a way for John Rambo to intervene in Iraq, where (at least for American audiences) the moral math is far harder to do. Saving blond missionaries and innocent Christian villagers from oily, swaggering rapists is a mission anyone can get behind. Figuring out how to bring peace in the Middle East through the application of overwhelming force?
[via Slate; HT: Streak's Blog]

In the Dock...

Many of us concerned about the over reach of the Religious Right have breathed a sigh of relief at its seeming demise. But perhaps we shouldn't relax too quickly. Philip Jenkins writes in an LA Times piece today entitled: "Apocalyptic politics: The religious right has splintered, but hard times could bring it back," that there are factors that could lead to its rebirth. We just don't know what form it might take. Jenkins points out that the Alliance with the Republican party has always been more one of convenience and therefore it's surprising it's lasted so long.
The GOP tacked on Moral Values to its platform of military strength and economic leadership to create a sort of three headed dog. As you look at the current candidates none of them quite fit the profile. They're all over the map -- so things look in disarray. Economics is currently taking the front seat, and people are disturbed and confused about what's been happening the past 8 years. But just as events of 1979-1980 led to change (yes Bill, Reagan transformed the conversation not you), things could happen again like that. {more...}
[via Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

An awkward subject: Evangelical power
[via The Wittenburg Blog]

And If It Was The Other Way?

A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians.

Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, "Jesus, the Spirit of God," as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which he praised as admirable but quite simply "wrong". {continue...}
[HT: The Wittenburg Door]

"A man is a sperm bank, a meal ticket, a handyman and an early retirement plan,..."
[via Dr. Helen]

Monday, January 21, 2008

Radical Fullness

I think we need Martin Luther King, Jr. today as much or more than when he was taken from us 40 years ago. (He would have turned 79 last Tuesday.) But we don’t need King the tamed and perfect icon, King the Dreamer. We need the real, radical Martin King–both because our society needs this radical critique and much bolder vision, and because we need to develop new leaders without expecting that they will be either without flaws or always popular. And we need to recover King in context: in the context of many others working for freedom and justice and peace–and some losing their lives for it.

We honor King’s memory not by taming it, but by letting it challenge us in all its radical fullness–and by taking up where King left off. We honor King best by rolling up our sleeves and getting into the risky work of justice and peacemaking.
[via Levellers]

Pretend heroes can be powerful desensitizers.
[via Bene Diction Blogs On]

To Engage Jesus

Some want to engage Jesus in their own ideas. Others call that “dangerous” and want their present ideas of history to preserve him (as my mother preserves the figs falling from her tree in glass jars, I suppose).

For example, Wayne Leman asks the following of those wondering whether, in the Christian church and a Jewish synagogue, women may have positions equal to men. It's a quest to engage Jesus: {continue}
[via Aristotle's Feminist Subject]

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Not a Race...

A lot of people don’t know that Martin Luther King’s last campaign, and his most unsuccessful effort, was to make poverty as much a matter of conscience as race. His "Poor People’s Campaign" was not universally supported even by his followers, who thought it diluted his central cause.

I remain disappointed by the approaches taken by leaders in my generation to tackle these challenges. I think leaders in the 1960s spoke to marginalized people in a hopeful voice. There was a sense that if we could only remove the barriers of racism and classism that enslaved people, the sky was the limit. Today, as I listen to leaders who speak for those in marginalized communities, I have the sense that their fallback position remains passive support programs. To me, true justice is not only the equity of wealth but the self-confidence that my dreams and your dreams are possible, and that we have it within ourselves to make this happen. {the whole thing}
[HT: Kevin G Powell]

Division, Diversity, and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
[via Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Huckabee's Mutual Compromise?

Now Mike Huckabee is running for President of the United States. He is asked about his endorsement of the SBC's family statement. Before a national television audience he gives the impression that he is offering a vigorous defense of the SBC's family statement, but what interpretation of relations within the family is he giving? Is he giving the SBC's husband-as-ruler-of-the-family interpretation or is he giving the Mainstream Baptist "mutually submissive" relations interpretation? You make the call.
[via Mainstream Baptist]
Huckabee's dodge about mutual submission doesn't fit the SBC code that he endorsed.

If a wife's relationship to her husband is analogous to a man's relationship to God, it seems that "gracious submission" can't be mutual. After all, godfearing Baptist men aren't told to offer advice to God, nor manipulate the Almighty to get their own way. They're just supposed to accept that God knows best, even if His dictates seem ridiculous.

For example, Mike Huckabee's God tells him that he's not a primate, and Huck doesn't give the Good Lord any guff.
[via Majikthise]
Huckabee is once again trying to toe a line--and a line that Bush didn't have to manage. Bush could simply throw out some code words to the faithful and be done with it. But Huck is trying so very hard to convince the church goers that he is their guy that he has to be far more explicit about his faith. But on the other side, he has to assure the rest of America that he isn't a fundamentalist--which of course, he is. Here (and I think that is why his initial response is irritation) he is forced to explain church language to the secular audience. And if they don't follow up, it sounds like the SBC is some bastion of feminine equality.

End of the day--Huckabee is just as much of a politician as Hillary or anyone else. He lies and dissembles and essentially tells the audience what they want to hear--even if that contradicts what he told the church last Sunday.

[via Steak's Blog]

and while we're on the subject:
Nowhere in scripture can one find a guarantee that if a wife is submissive, her husband will never leave.

Husbands leave. Wives leave. No guarantees do we have about our marriage partner.
[via Reality Check]

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Religious story predictions for 2008
[HT: Bene Diction Blogs On]

Feigned All Too Easy

[O]ne of the worst ways of spoiling something good is to counterfeit it.

During World War II, the Nazis attempted to wage an economic war against the Allies with Operation Bernhard. The Nazis took Jewish artists in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and forced them to forge British pounds and American dollars. The quality of the counterfeiting was very good, and it was almost impossible to distinguish between the real and fake bills. The plan was to get these bills into circulation and thus devalue the currency of the Allies.

But the Germans could not put their plan into action, and were forced to dump the counterfeit bills into a lake. Over one billion American dollars were forged, and economists estimate that that would have seriously undermined the war effort.

Love, like money, can be faked, forged and feigned all too easy.
[via kerux noemata]

Gifts and Resourcefulness

If one is to sell all one has and give it to the poor, or even just live a modest lifestyle, it become fairly difficult to develop and use certain talents, even for the greater good....

Generally only those who have money already and spend that money on themselves can develop that talent. Is that good stewardship?
[via onehandclapping]

Friday, January 04, 2008

his and hers resolutions
[via The View From Her]

Grinding Grumbles

For some of you, the turning of the year may have been bittersweet. Perhaps you were able to close the door on a year dotted with loss and difficulty, but you look into the blank canvas of a new year with doubt and maybe even distrust. {the rest}
[via Radical Womanhood]

2008 Resolutions of the Televangelists
[via The Wittenburg Door]