Friday, October 31, 2008

Wearing Many Masks

If you head to a Halloween party tonight in a devil's mask and a flowing red cape, you'll embody an array of ideas that might seem mutually exclusive: the allure of a Devil's Food Cake and the fear of the demon within, the cosmic enemy in a Jack Chick comic and a camp figure on South Park. Over the last two millennia, Satan has worn many masks. In the pluralistic postmodern era, he wears them all. {continue...}
[via reasononline]

"Is The Meaning Lost?"

Halloween? Reformation? Which is it?
[vika Kevin Powell]

Failed to Report?

No matter what happens in this year’s election, the conservative blogosphere deserves to win a collective Pulitzer Prize for its election-year coverage. While the mainstream media has given Americans a very distorted picture of Barack Obama, portraying him as a thoughtful, intelligent, unflappable, decent family man who has the temperament and judgment to be President, the conservative blogosphere has been the only place where you can get the real story. Hampered by quaint, old-fashioned rules of journalism that require citing evidence and reputable sources, the mainstream media has failed to report a number of important stories about Obama and the conservative blogosphere has had to step up and do the media’s job for them. As a public service I have collected some of the most important of these stories in one place. Pulitzer Prize judges, take note! {continue...}
[via Jon Swift, HT: Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy]

Church Treats

Last year, at the first house we visited on Halloween night, my two year old daughter McRae walked inside the minute the door was opened. Before the 75 year old man at the door could react, she had juked passed him and was deep into his living room exploring the place.

In her defense, Halloween is kind of confusing. For 364 days of the year we tell her not to accept candy from strangers. Then on Halloween, we dress her up as a big blue M&M and encourage her to use her hand as some sort of crane device to pick up the maximum payload possible when strangers offer her buckets of treats to choose from.

It would be a lot simpler if our church had a Halloween alternative event. {continue...}
[via Stuff Christians Like]

Obama, McCain & Canadian religious politics
[via Pulpit & Politics, HT: Bene Diction Blogs On]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

[HT: Culture Making]

With all the plastic surgery money could buy, you or I will never look like Princess Diana in her prime—but for absolutely no cost except a life of love, we could all look like Mother Teresa.
Culture Making, p.219

Monday, October 27, 2008


A Hero comes from the wilderness to cry out to the captives, pleading for them to awaken. This short film from Whitestone was in part inspired by "Plato's Cave" and depicts the struggle of freeing the captives, whomever they may be. This film is set to the song by the same name originally written for this film by the talented Wright Brothers: Nicholas Kirk and Billy Wilkerson.

Download the film and mp3 free at:

[HT: Hacking Christianity, from this post]

"Due to the limitations of your reality, some of your best friends can only enter incognito. In fact, the really big ones sometimes sneak through disguised as ugly monsters and vicious enemies. Otherwise, the guards at the gate would never let them through. These are the events optimists call, “blessings in disguise.”

Expand your mind, expand your world. Fire the guards, and perhaps these blessings won’t need such a bizarre entry anymore."
[via Po' Danyo]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lowered Standards

There is a great similarity between the Monarchists of post-Revolutionary France, and the conservatives in America in 2008, who intend to vote for Third Party Candidates. The Monarchists were holding out for a theoretical, potential future return of the Monarchy. Third-Party voters are holding out for the theoretical, potential true-conservative candidate. It is possible that, had they not obeyed the Pope, had the French continued to abstain from voting or running for office, one day the Monarchy would have been brought back to France. There is also a remote possibility that Third Party voters may, one day, bring about the nomination, in America, of a true conservative. And yet, and here is the point Pope Leo XIII made, Catholics are bound to live in the concrete reality in which God places them today. While not perfect, the good that would be accomplished by the French Catholics and the American conservatives, is at risk of not being done because of the pursuit of theoretical, potential, utopian possibility of perfection.
[via Taliban Rising]

Weirded Out

I felt so glad to be inside.

What puzzles me is that people buy these spooky things, they think it's fun, part of getting into the "halloween spirit", I suppose. And I'm the type of girl who LOVES having any excuse to dress up (just ask my family). But the spooky, scary stuff you can keep....

I wonder if anyone else feels as weirded out and out-of-place as me? I wonder if the way I feel tonight is the way early Christians felt all the time....vulnerable, surrounded by pagan ideas that dehumanized their friends and family. Did they see friends coming back from the temple with hair shaven off and cuts on their body, proof of their devotion to Artemis? Did they witness the degredation of a sister turned into a temple prostitue? Did they watch as neighbors purposefully invested in acts that twisted their humanity?

I feel like, tonight, I can taste the alien-like feeling early Christians must have felt. It makes me glad that Halloween comes only once a year.
[via Jonalyn Grace Fincher]

Sarah Palin -- You're no Aimee Semple McPherson
[via Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thankful Acts

So what are you Thankful for?

That's the Question of the Day, isn't it? The question on everyone's lips.

I don't know about you but I always have trouble answering that question. It's not that I'm some sort of ungrateful lout, or that I think I deserve everything I have, or that in a quid pro quo world I think thankfulness is unnecessary.

It's just that there seems to be a “right” answer and a “wrong” answer to that question, a moral expectation every Thanksgiving. There are certain big ticket items that I'm obliged to be thankful for, and I'm supposed to walk right past the bargain bin, pretending its not there. {continue...}
[via The Word Proclaimed]

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tangled History

Economy in a freefall. Political rhetoric. An apathetic electorate dismayed by the slide of their country into irrelevence. Theological liberalism. Doctrinal indifference.

America, 2008? {continue...}
[via, HT: The Daily Scroll]

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lost In Their Own Journeys

How about this. I’m on a journey around the world. I have all my tickets purchased and my agendas. Sometime into my journey the travel becomes rocky … then, suddenly, everything is ripped from me … my tickets, my agendas, everything … including my identity. I’m alone in a foreign land with nothing but the clothes on my back. Oh, and two young children in tow who have also been stripped of everything, including their identities, except for the clothes on their backs. I am forced to figure out who I am, where I am, how to care for my children and myself, how to help them figure out who and where they are, etc.

Yet during this time, everyone else we were travelling with has moved on in the journey. There are points along the way we still see each other, such as educational and religious meetings. But it’s odd … because all these people have all these experiences we don’t have. They are refreshed, full of life and energy … and hope … and continued goals … moving forward.

Occasionally these people ask about us, but for the most part, they’re all lost in their own journeys. Meanwhile, we’re still struggling … trying to recreate our identities … to discover who and what we are … to reconfigure our futures, our journeys.

These years … where the rest of the world has moved forward … and we’ve been trying to heal and reconstruct our lives … these are The Lost Years.

It’s getting easier to see these differences, smile, and move on. But other times it’s all I can do not to cry.
[via The Order of Recon]

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Turning Things Upside Down

Sarah Palin has cast herself in the role of the populist, the maverick who will go to Washington and turn things upside down. She's the outsider, the breath of fresh air, uncorrupted by years in Washington. She combines this message with a religious air that reaches into a conservative Christian base for support. She opposes Roe v. Wade and gay marriage. She backed a bill that celebrated Christian Heritage week in Alaska and endorsed the teaching of creationism (or ID -- that's not been clear), and carries herself with a sense of righteousness that is rooted in Christian populism. Robert McElvaine compares her Christian populism with that of another outsider, William Jennings Bryan. In some ways they share belief systems, but the recipient of their ardent attacks are very different. Palin attacks the elite (media, Hollywood, educational establishment) while Bryan attacked the "Interests," Wall Street financiers and corporate leaders. a group that has not received (at least until now) attention from the Right. It's an interesting piece published today in Sightings.{read on...}
[HT: Ponderings on a Faith Journey]