Another guest post today from Tarah Van De Wiele, an amazing theologian and Biblical scholar living as an ex-pat in England. You can read more about her and her adventures and her adventures living outside the U.S. at ever popular blog: 2 People, 2 Dogs & 10 Bags.
I am a pacifist. But historically I am an incensed one.
This is why it has finally become dire that I expend the energy built up inside me from the endless culture wars that inform our language, plague our dinner tables, and crawl across the TV screen like some bug you can’t seem to swat away. Are you pro or anti? Red or blue? Straight or gay? Black or white? Male or female? Enough. Al. Ready.
Chickens (Photo credit: Allie’s.Dad)
The latest culture war sparked by a certain chicken restaurant completely caught me off guard. I spent an entire day stalking the web for pictures of people fighting in the war. After a few hours I managed to succumb to the purest form of rage available to an incensed pacifist, and began to brainstorm what smart but highly insulting sign I would distribute, what post I would send viral, what boycott I would demand. And the only question by 4 in the afternoon was not if I should curse but HOW MUCH.
And then the chickens showed up. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Chick-fil-A, Church, church and state, Culture war, culture war DMZ, culture wars, gifts, home, kingdom of God, pacifist, Poultry, Republican, United States, violence
Here is a guest post in our series on the culture wars from a friend, one time fellow barista, and former student of mine, Fr. Matt Boulter. More about Matt can be found at his blog: Religiocity.
In about the year 6 AD in ancient Palestine, with winds of revolution blowing in the air, a Jewish militant called Judas of Galileerose up in defiance of the oppressive Roman government, at that time brutally plaguing the Jewish people. In his revolutionary zeal Judas does three things:
Judas the Galilean image from Universität Wien
- Rids the Temple of Gentiles by force.
- Preaches for people to forsake Caesar in favor of hi view of the Kingdom of God.
- Calls Jews to refuse to pay some taxes to Caesar.
Shortly after his anti-Imperial mutiny, Judas was summarily attacked, captured, and executed. His revolutionary followers, thus, disbanded and went home. Fast-forward the story about a quarter century, when we encounter one Jesus of Nazareth who does some very similar, and yet entirely different things. Continue reading
Bumper sticker car parked in Santa Cruz, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What good are bumper stickers? So far in my life I have never seen anyone pull the car over and say to the passenger, “You know what? You CAN’T hug the world with nuclear arms, can you?” or, “I just visualized world peace and it was awesome.”
They are not really arguments, let alone compelling ones. Bumper stickers don’t really change people’s lives. Nevertheless it is nearly impossible to go anywhere for a short drive in just about any town and not see the simple black “W,” a Shepherd Fairey, “Hope” illustration of Obama, a name followed by a “2012,” or a pithy statement about how just such-and-such a position makes the most obvious moral sense or that ridicules the opposition. So I’ve been wondering, if these little traveling slogans don’t really change things, why do they keep showing up everywhere, and more importantly, what are they really trying to tell me? Continue reading
Posted in The Impossible Will Take A little While., Uncategorized
Tagged Christ, christian right, church and state, culture war DMZ, culture wars, God, Gospel of Matthew, Great Commandment, hope, jesus, liberal left, Obama, United States
This post is part of a series of blogs posting in the Hope 2012 Blog Relay started by Melanie Crutchfield. I was invited by my good friend Matt Cromwell at his Blog The Church-State Guy. You can read his post here or begin at Melanie’s first page and scroll through. Links to other future posts are listed below and will be updated.
I was terrified the first few times I went to confession several years ago. I mean, I had grown up in a church that really didn’t like the practice of making confession at all. In fact they thought it was a bad thing and defied one’s personal relationship with Jesus. We kept a lot of things private back then.
So most of what I thought confession would end up being was based on bad scenes from movies that made priests look either like bitter curmudgeons with a bone to pick or like sick, judgmental voyeurs. Nevertheless, I felt like this is something I needed to do and wanted to do. I was surprised, shockingly surprised, by what I ended up saying.
“I’m losing my friend,” I said and then I froze. Continue reading
It was more just panic than panic attack. I had faired pretty well and even stayed in the hospital a couple extra days this time after I had my second foot hammered and puttied back together and I am glad I did. I stuck around where I wouldn’t have to worry about getting my own food and water and where I had access to what you might call, “the good stuff,” to help stave off the pain. So why I had a sudden sense of panic when the young nurse told me I was about ready to check out is as much a bit of surprise to me as to anyone else.
I was not panicking because I would have to go home, not at all. I was extremely eager to get out of the hospital. Extremely. It was only a little bit like seeing the
Sheep (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
finish line or the light at the end of the tunnel that makes one run a little faster. But this panic was a little different still and it took me a few days to even begin to understand it.
The only way I have been able to describe it so far is that it was like the feeling that a Doctor had come to me with the great news that an arm cast was about to be cut off in an hour or so. But it was as if she and said it and left the room only seconds before a cockroach flew into the and all I could imagine was an hour of that little bugger crawling rooting around right against my skin for too short a time to rush things and too long a time to be able to bear it. That is what it felt like. I needed to be home. I needed to be there “now!” Continue reading
In the story of the loaves and fishes, Jesus takes the little bit of food offered to him from a small boy and breaks it, blesses it and gives it to those who had been following him for days who had become hungry. That small gift ends up feeding several thousand people to the point where there are several baskets full after everyone has eaten. It is another one of the miracles a lot of people love to reference to show Jesus’ supernatural powers. But I spent some time with some friends this weekend that reminded me of another reading of that story. It is one with less magic but one that might actually be a bigger miracle. Continue reading
Posted in The Burner life
Tagged burning flipside, burning man, Christianity, Community, gift economy, giftedness, gifts, grace, kingdom of God, Religion and Spirituality, Self Reliance, thank you, trust, welcome
(dedicated to my dear friends from RedCamp)
This year will be my eighth year at Burning Flipside. While I certainly have a lot of amazing memories and moments (like, I dunno, burning a two story hula dancer for example?) my favorite time at flipside is always the hours right at
dusk. Things quiet down just a little as people return to their camps to get a little grub, cover themselves in paint, fetch their poi for fire dancing, grab all the fabulous they can fit in a fanny pack, and rinse the cup to carry with them. It is a moment of both frantic scrambling around and wild anticipation. Adventure lies ahead. Continue reading
Posted in The Burner life, Uncategorized
Tagged AIDS, Austin, Austin Texas, burning flipside, burning man, Community, Fire dancing, gift economy, giftedness, gifts, God
Its is the second worst storm I endured since I moved to Texas, making it the second worst storm of my life. I had been praying, trying to center, and needing to be present. The storm hit my house exactly within the first five minutes of sitting down with someone for spiritual direction. The wind was rattling the windows and tossing bits of the back yard around. The whole house chilled. I considered ending our time together because I was able to give the moment only 99% of my attention. I was being tugged away by one haunting thought. Will the tree hold? Continue reading
Posted in The Impossible Will Take A little While.
Tagged Arts, Asclepias tuberosa, bough, Easter, Eastertide, fallen limb, fallen tree, friendship, garden, grace, hope, love, repentance, Spiritual direction, storm, tree, trust
I am almost never disappointed by a ride on the bus in Austin. To try to explain why is as hard as to try to explain what is amazing at Burning Man or Burning Flipside. There are too many un-photographable moments and too many unrealistic stories you have to experience to make you a believer. But this particular story has bugged me for days, and keeps changing the way I see relationships. Now to be fair, I was already cranky. I spent one and a half hours each way on the bus for an errand that should have taken a half hour and took three. Even so, this seemingly insignificant moment was heartbreaking. It was kindness turned against itself. It was a moment turned against grace. And it was executed with two quarters and a pack of Big Red gum. Continue reading
Posted in The Burner life, Tohu-Bohu
Tagged big red, burning man, bus, gift economy, giftedness, gifts, grace, gum, Hollywood, Narrative, thank you, Walgreens, welcome