Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Standing at the meeting, I didn't write Osteen's name down in my notebook -- apparently because my brain refused on some level to accept that McCain had actually said it. Of all the vile, fake, lying-ass, money-grubbing shyster scumbags on the face of this planet, there is perhaps none more loathsome than Osteen, a human haircut with plastic, baseball-size teeth who has made a fortune selling the appalling only-in-America idea that terrestrial greed is actually a form of Christian devotion. "God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us," Osteen once wrote. This is the revolting, snake-oil-selling dickhead that John McCain actually chose to pimp as number one on his list of inspirational authors. So much for "go, sell everything you have and give to the poor" and all that other hippie crap from the New Testament.
Celebrating the Fourth with open eyes. Estas letras brought to ustedes by the funky goodness that is Ozomatli.
I heard her story from across the sea,
There was never one as fair, lovely as she.
With sun soaked skin and eyes of green,
With all kindness and grace of a queen.
I set sail into a cold, dark sky.
I had to see this beauty with my own eyes.
I crossed the ocean in a tiny ship
With her image in my mind and her name on my lips. I set.
I found her standing upon the shore.
She was everything I dreamed of and so much more.
I felt a love that I’ve never known
And I knew I had to make her my own.
She was light of the night. She was dark as the night.
I fell under her spell, couldn’t tell wrong from right. I set.
She breathed new life inside of me.
A whole new world she gave to me.
Surrendered all she had to me,
Even silver and gold.
All she asked was my soul.
How could I’ve know I’d been hypnotized.
There was more to my queen than first met the eye.
She had a chain of lovers who died her slaves
With a notion of blood for every drop that she gave.
I never thought she could break my heart
but all her contradictions are tearing me apart.
The secret she hides.
The beauty she flaunts
She’ll stop at nothing just to get what she wants.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Back in December, when Husband and I were taking an evening of refuge at the Barnes & Noble from our frigid house, courtesy of the ice storm that knocked down power lines and left us in the dark for three days, I picked up Tim Egan's The Worst Hard Time, a tale of the Dust Bowl and those who lived it. Not the Okies who fled to California, so immortalized by Steinbeck that we're still known by this idea, but the Oklahomans (And southeastern Coloradans and Texas Panhandlers) who remained in the black, choking dust, drought and despair.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Your mercy, YHWH,I will sing forever,From generation to generation I willshout outyour truthwith my mouth.Because you said,Mercy will be builtforever;From the heavens I will establishyour truth;I made a covenant with my chosen,I swore to my servantDavid.So forever I willestablishyour seedand I will build upfrom generation to generationyour throne.διάψαλμα (selah)Blessedare the people who have heardthe joyful sound;YHWHby the light of your facethey walked,and in your namethey will be happyall day,And by your justnessthey will be raised upand praised;Because the boasting of their strengthis you,and in your pleasure,our horn will be raised upand praised;Because our help isof the Lord,andof holy Israel,our king.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
And it came after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham, Abraham." And Abraham said, "See me." And God said, "Take your beloved son, the whom you love, Isaac, and go into the high land, and offer him there as a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains that I will tell you. And after Abraham rose in the morning, he saddled his donkey. And he took with him two servants and Isaac his son, and after he cut wood for the burnt-offering, he got up and went and on the third day came to the place which God had told him about. And Abraham raised his eyes and saw the distant land. And Abraham said to his servants, "Sit here with the donkey. The child and I will go ahead together, and after we worship we will return to you all." And Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And with his hands he took the fire and the dagger the two of them went together. And Isaac said to Abraham his father, "Father." And Abraham answered, "What is it, child?" And Isaac said, "Look, here is the fire and the wood, where is the sheep for the burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "God personally will see to the sheep for the burnt offering, child." After going on together, they came to the place, which God had told Abraham. And there Abraham built the altar and laid upon it the wood. And after he bound the feet of Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the dagger to murder his son. And the Angel of YHWH cried out to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham." And Abraham said, "See me." And the angel said, "Do not lay a hand on the child, and do not do a thing to him. For now I know that you fear your God and for me would not withhold your beloved son from me." And Abraham raised his eyes and saw, and look -- a ram caught by his horns in the plant of Sabec. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered him as a burnt offering instead of Isaac his son.And Abraham called the name of the place there "YHWH Saw" in order that they might say today in the mountain YHWH was seen.
Monday, June 23, 2008
So Barack Obama's campaign has started a Web site that people can go to to "fight the smears": You know, those irritating e-mails you get about Barack Obama not being eligible to be president because he's not a natural-born citizen. Yeah, I know. I really don't know why he needed to start a Web site, all he had to do was send everyone to Snopes.com, and people who believe that shit and pass it on aren't going to believe his Web site anyway. That, and you deal with rumors the same way you deal with trolls: Ignore them and they go away.
Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It's dawning upon me that learning how to read the Bible is just confirming that it really does support the divisive shit better than the justice shit, and that was kind of Jesus' point (well, Jesus by way of the the Jesi that were the creations of the gospel writers) all along. There's this shit that was written down, and then there's people. Err on the side of people. Err on the side of love. Feed my stupid sheep.
Maybe it's that we're Christians in spite of the Bible, not because of.
And maybe it really is time to switch from hermeneutics to theology.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Even better! Gawd bless the Internets.
Moore and Lux had never heard of West Hollywood. From their startled stares, it appeared they would have preferred never to have heard of it. Only Takei was a familiar face -- but a notion that Mr. Sulu was now something of a gay activist just made matters worse."You watch this celebration and I honestly worry about indoctrination," Lux said."It's like the frog-in-the-water syndrome," Moore added in agreement. "You know, the frog doesn't realize the water around it is heating up until it's boiled. I worry that Americans will get used to these images and they'll throw up their hands and say, 'Who cares?'"
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Then, after getting the governor spot in a sex scandal, he normalized human sexuality by talking openly about various incidents in his sex life that might be considered fodder for gossips. Was savvy enough, essentially, to keep the media out of his private life by showing them he had control of it.
And now, New York Gov. David Patterson is working for gay rights in New York state.
New York, in case y'all didn't know, is going to start recognizing all marriages performed in other states. Like California and Massachusetts.
“In many respects, people in our society, we only recognize our own struggles,” Mr. Paterson said. “I’ve wanted to be someone in the African-American community who recognizes the new civil rights struggle that is being undertaken by gay and lesbian and transgendered people.”
So, outside of this governor-love, I'm on summer break (just got grades yesterday, and thankfully passed all classes with the grades I needed. Which I was worried about, because I'm not so hot in the preaching classes, you know), which really doesn't mean much for me. I have no classes, but I've got quite the to-do list and a reading list that would scare just about anyone. I'm doing independent research this fall on literary and critical theory and theology, which entails doing a lot of prep reading this summer. Right now, I'm reading selected writings by Michel Foucault, theologies by David Tracy (The Analogical Imagination and Blessed Rage for Order), Laurel Schneider (Beyond Monotheism) and Catherine Keller (God and Power), and postcolonial heremeneutics.
Also, I ended my study of biblical Greek for the time being, so I've got to try and keep up with it on my own lest I forget it. So I'm slowly, painfully reading my way through the Second Testament in Greek. Yesterday I read the whole paragraph in Matthew about the magi showing up to Herrod without having to look at the dictionary more than twice, so that's something, maybe I did learn something. Aaand, I also need to keep up my Spanish literacy (I need reading ability in two modern languages for doctoral studies), so I'm reading my way through various Spanish novels I've bought over the years and never read. Right now I'm reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
So I'm pretty busy in a parked-on-the-couch sort of way.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Over on AlterNet, a progressive opinion site I found back in 2004 as I was working through the depression caused by the election results, there's a column titled "Xenophobia and Anti-Gay Legislation Galore: What's the Matter with Oklahoma?" (yup, thanks, Thomas Frank, for re-introducing that phrase for us to overuse). The article, written by someone who lives here, gives a fair, though sensational, account of what's been going on legislatively in our state over the past few years, with HB 1804, the latest attempts to get English as the official language (have fun with those lawsuits, if that ever passed!) and Sally Kern's "I got the Bible behind me" rants against GLBTs. And he concludes the article with a fair question that someone who loves his home would ask:
Still, the question remains: Why have these sorts of comments and such legislation gained traction in Oklahoma and other parts of the United States?
I say this is a fair question, because if you live here, you know, we're for the most part good folk. I can't remember where I read this, but someone once said that despite the racism, sexism and gay-bashing in the South, there's no place better if you're in immediate danger, like if a tornado took out your house or even if your car breaks down on the side of the road. We're helpful, we're kind to our neighbors in times of need. So yes, it's a fair question because in order to help our more status-quo-loving sisters and brothers see the terrible consequences that racism, sexism and heterosexism have on their lives and even their souls, we have to ask it. Why does xenophobia get expressed so easily, not just here, but everywhere? What are we so afraid of that we've targeted infants whose parents lack legal documentation?
Typically, the commenters at AlterNet prove that being progressive is not immunity to stupidity. Here's a taste:
what college-bound young Okies do when they graduate from the local universities. Where do they go to find work? Their attitudes must be soooo out of sync with most Americans, who happen to live in large metropolitan areas, that they must appear as freaks. Who would hire them?
Been there Too- My sister lives outside Tulsa.Beautiful state, but nearly all appear to have been beaten repeatedly about the head as children. Is there any laws regarding marriying your 'Brother Daddy'...Though Not.
Lots of contradictions and totally illogical unfactual reasoning from their elected governing body. The message is clear to me though, stay out of Oklahoma.
God Bless Commie Red Facist Okalahoma. The former home of the late Timothy McVeigh, Americas first citizen terrorist. Pardon me if I never visit your state again. But then again I am sure NONE CONSIDERED THE EFFECTS ON TOURISM of this most communist repressive state. Why don't you just cecede and declare Putin your leader. He has no problems with policies and laws of this sort.
All you have to do to these poor slobs in OK is hypnotize them with guns and bibles and keep them frothing at the mouth on social issues such as guns, god, gays, flag-burning, patriotism, terrorism, machoism, abortion, etc ..., and BINGO, they're yours for the RAPING, er "taking" !
Although many of the comments are fair, mostly from people who either live here or have lived here or have family here, this just goes to show how easy it is to fall back into superficial, narrow-minded rhetoric as easily as Ann Coulter. I know I shouldn't be surprised, Oklahoma has a bad reputation, and stuff like this doesn't help it on the world stage, but stereotypes piss me off. And then there's the whole "No one makes fun of my sister except me!" thing going on. I live here, I live under this shit and fight against it, I live next door to these folks and am related to many who have the same opinion and I love them and they love me despite our differences in opinion, and I'll be damned if they're going to be judged like this by people who don't know them. I'll do that, thank you very much, I've earned it. After all, criticism works best when it's delivered by someone you love.
So, go over to AlterNet and let those ignant people have it. And let's really ask ourselves what we can do about shit coming out of people who make us look so bad in the media's eye.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I love these commercials, for one reason or another the chorus just brings to tears to my eyes every time I hear it. Could be because I'm a rabid watcher of Discovery Channel (Yes, I'm addicted to Deadliest Catch. And How It's Made. And Mythbusters. And Dirty Jobs. I think most of what I watch when I can watch TV is on Discovery Channel.). Could be because it's based on a children's song and it makes me nostalgic for those nice hazy fall days in Mrs. Siegle's first-grade class when Mr. Crow was teaching us to sing old folk songs. Or it could be that the chorus just gets to me, because it's so true.
I love the whole world
And all its sights and sounds
Boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada-boom-de-yada-boom-de-yada ...
I love the whole world
And all its craziness
Boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada-boom-de-yada-boom-de-yada ...
I love the whole world
It's such a brilliant place ...
Boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada-boom-de-yada-boom-de-yada ...
What were we thinking when we decided that the world was bad and some otherworldly heaven is good? Let's hear it for material existence. It really is just awesome.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Now that California Supreme Court has ruled that all Californians have the right to get married, Takei and his partner of 21 years are fulfilling their dream wedding. As you might have guessed, George Takei is one of my heroes. When I was growing up, we watched all the shows that featured Asian people, even if we didn't like them, simply because, I realize now, my mom was lonely for faces that were familiar to her. So we were regular watchers of Quincy, M.E. for Robert Ito and Star Trek for Takei. We watched that awful Shogun miniseries and Hawaii 5-0 and anything that remotely had an Asian cast. But I was always a fan of Star Trek, because I'm a big nerd, and my favorite episodes were Sulu-heavy (The Naked Time, which features a hot Takei brandishing an epee and Shore Leave, where he gets the girl. (Huh, I didn't realize that Sulu was actually haafu -- half-Japanese and half-Filipino. Go figure!) Anyway, he was always a hero of mine when I was growing up. Here was this guy who looked like me who was steering the Starship Enterprise and doing all sorts of heroic deeds. He was not a red-shirted ensign who would die in any episode, but permanent! When I was growing up, I never had any idea that the world would give people like me any shit, because there was Mr. Sulu in that spot, and if Mr. Sulu was there, if Sam from Quincey was there, hell if Margaret Cho was there, why couldn't I be there someday, too?
When Takei came out a few years ago, I was happy that he was taking that brave step to again lead people forward. And now he's getting married! He wrote about it on his blog and compared the laws that prevented GLBTs from getting married to same-gender partners to the discrimination he faced as a child in the internment camps.
As a Japanese American, I am keenly mindful of the subtle and not so subtle discrimination that the law can impose. During World War II, I grew up imprisoned behind the barbed wire fences of U.S. internment camps. Pearl Harbor had been bombed and Japanese Americans were rounded up and incarcerated simply because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. Fear and war hysteria swept the nation. A Presidential Executive Order directed the internment of Japanese Americans as a matter of national security. Now, with the passage of time, we look back and see it as a shameful chapter of American history. President Gerald Ford rescinded the Executive Order that imprisoned us. President Ronald Reagan formally apologized for the unjust imprisonment. President George H.W. Bush signed the redress payment checks to the survivors. It was a tragic and dark taint on American history.
With time, I know the opposition to same sex marriage, too, will be seen as an antique and discreditable part of our history. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy remarked on same sex marriage, "Times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper, in fact, serve only to oppress." (SOURCE: Takei's blog)
He was, is and always will be my hero and one of my biggest role models. Thank you, Mr. Takei, and congratulations to you and Brad. I wish you all the happiness in the world!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Anyway, here's my answer on these 8 things. And yes, while I understand that people are caring individuals who are trying to express their appreciation or affection by trying to know more about the person, we really need to start questioning why we feel the need to know. And just so you know, I get these questions asked at me ALL THE TIME.
1. "What are you?"
I have to say, this question beats the hell out of "Where are you from? No, really, before that, where are you really from? At least it's honest, they really want to know why I look the way I do. Actually, most of the time I get, "What tribe are you?" because I seem to look either Cherokee or, it seems, Eskimo (that was the last one, "Are you Eskimo?"). Go figure. But here's the thing: What am I? Well, as much as I'd love to be, I'm not Gallifreyan. I'm not a Cylon, either. That alone should give you ample fodder for a more productive conversation about what I am (i.e. a huge sci-fi fan. And, oh yeah, HUMAN.). You don't get to ask this question without coming across as a total idiot, as there's no way to ask it intelligently.Trust me, if you're really my friend, it'll come up in conversation.
2. "What's your nationality?" "You look foreign."
If I lived in any other country on the planet, I'd have somewhat more sympathy for askers of this question. Nationality seems to have a racial/ethnic component to it in most of the world; that is, if you ignore the reality of minority populations in most countries that have been oppressed or dismissed (ainu or Roma, for example). In the U.S. -- we have no racial/ethnic component. Everyone gets to be a estadounidense. And unless you're First Nations, you're a foreigner, too.
3. "You're all beautiful." "You make beautiful babies."
Thanks for the objectification. So I guess beauty really is skin deep? That must mean that your monoracial kids are butt-ugly.
4. "Are you X or Y?" "Which side are you more on?"
The interesting thing about this question is, it's in the mind of the questioner more than it is mine. It also plays into the idea that we all wear just one identity. I identify with both my sides, more so one than the other at certain times and in certain environments, but it's not like my Asian side goes away when I'm at the calf fry singing along with Hank Junior. And it's not like we round up, either, i.e. I identify 55% with my Asian side, so that makes me really Asian. Nope. And there are no benchmarks: I don't speak, read or write Japanese, I don't often cook Japanese food and I'm not a Buddhist, and even if I were, there are plenty of non-Asian people who do any or all of these things.
5. "How in the world did your parents meet?"
This is a silly question in this day and age. We're so global, people move around so much, people from all over the place meet other people from all over the place. I actually don't get this question as much as I get the "Did your parents meet during the war?" And then I wonder which war they're thinking about, because I'm not THAT old.
6. "You're the future." "You're the best of both worlds."
Heh. If I'm the future, then does that mean you're history? Trust me, just because you're mixed race does not mean you're the answer to the world's problems with racism. We don't shag our racism away. And if in the future we were all mixed-race, then we'd just find another reason to be an ass about. And that "best of both worlds" thing is crap, too. Trust me, I get the worst, too, just like anyone. And again, thanks for the objectification.
7. "You don't look ..." "You're not ..." "You sound white."
I get to decide what I am, thank you. That's the right of any human being, we get to determine our own identities, even if they fall outside of the little check-here boxes. And I used to get the "You sound white" thing all the time, at least in the form of "You don't look like I expected when I talked to you on the phone." I found pretty quickly that the best way to get a comment from someone over the found was to match your accent to theirs so you'd sound like one of the bunch. I'm from here, I can have a local accent. But I really watch too much TV to sound local all the time. And what does "sounding white" mean, anyway?
8. "Aren't we all mixed, anyway?"
Technically, yes. There's no such thing as a genetically pure person. Race is a social construct. But if we really did accept that we're all mixed, then you wouldn't be pestering me with these questions, would you? The fact that I claim my biracial mix wouldn't be an issue. We'd all accept that we're each different.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Anyway, so in class today we took the Privilege test. A variation on the test can be glimpsed at this discussion here, but here's the basics: A series of statements are read ("My grew up in a home my parents owned." "I am able to publicly show affection to my partner.") and you either step forward or backward depending on what you answer. The role of the exercise is to let people understand exactly what privilege is; not racism, but privilege, defined not as "I hate (person of differing race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation) and wish they'd diiiiiieee!" but to unmask how subtle privilege is, that we really do NOT start off at an equal spot, that some of us got a leg up that we weren't even ever aware of. Trust me, having parents who understood the college application process is a HUGE advantage right there.
So we go through this exercise, and I actually fell a lot farther on the "non-privileged" side than I did the "privileged" side, which surprised me and seriously bummed me out. Weirdly, I was totally prepared to deal with my privileges, but I was stunned to see the lack. I really didn't realize that some of the shit I deal with were actual disadvantages.
But that's neither here nor there. The response to the test by one member of the class was fairly typical. "White, middle class America is under attack! If you're poor or a minority, you get financial aid and so much help, but you're all alone if you're white and middle class, and these people make it feel like it's all your fault that they're poor! I didn't do anything! I'm a good person!"
Not the first time I've heard this. Not even this week. So, here's my one reply. Spread it around, y'all, please, so I don't have to keep repeating it.
First off: You're attacking the wrong people. "If you're poor or a minority, you get advantages?" Yes, because Pell grants and food stamps are such a great thing compared with being treated like a non-human (pssst, they're not.) Think about this: To get said "advantages" you have to live in areas that are both socially and environmentally harmful to your health; you have to go to substandard schools; if you can go to a "good" school that has all the resources (like a computer! with Internet! Folks, there are schools in the U.S. that don't) you have to work your ass off to stay there; you probably won't see your parents much, since one or both of them is probably absent; and you're hungry, probably often, and you didn't get the nutrition you needed to help your brain develop properly when you were a kid. Oh, and if you can survive and thrive past all that, and you get financial aid into college, well, it's still tough because you'll have to work, and you probably won't have a car to get you around. Extra-curricular activities, you know, those things that help you make connections and points to put on a resume, will probably go out the window because you'll be working and studying too much.
So yes, let's 86 the idea that being poor or a minority is so great for financial aid. Turn your ire on the people who deserve it: The 2% or whatever that have all the money, who are working through corporations, media and government to turn us against each other so that we won't notice what they're doing. We should be pulling together, people! Think on this: Your kid's spot at Yale is being taken up by the next Dubya Bush. Your kid, who was all As in high school, on every team, in every club and read to old people at the nursing home every day after school, will be denied entrance to Yale because of a C average legacy who will spend his whole 4 years partying.
And here's the other thing: OK, so some poor kid got financial aid and your kid didn't. OK, so I guess he'll have to do what the rest of us do: sacrifice. He'll have to work and not get all the things that'll make college pay off big, like the extra activities and the study abroad classes. He'll have to go half time to work so he can pay. He'll (gasp!) have to go to a land-grant university instead of the Ivy League place. He may even have to go to community college first because it's affordable and he can actually afford to pay for it.
And that, my friends, is privilege in a nutshell -- thinking that your kid SHOULDN'T have to do all that, because someone else has scooped up his opportunity.
Sucks, don't it?
This is the way things are. You are being PLAYED. Someone's making life tougher, and believe me, it ain't us (the poor, the minority, the gay). You are being duped into thinking that life for you means no-life for us, when in fact, no-life for us means no-life for you, too. We are only as strong as we all are together.
We can have a better world, but we've GOT to get rid of this notion that we're entitled to shit because we EARNED it somehow. No on earns anything. We do what we do, and it works out for some of us and not for others. We're entitled to shit because we breathe. And if we're not greedy about our air, there'll be enough for everyone. God loves us all.
So own your privilege and then let it go. Breathe. Love.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
REVEREND WRIGHT: I think I come at that as a historian of religion. That we are miseducated as a people. Or because we're miseducated, you end up with the majority of the people not wanting to hear the truth. Because they would rather cling to what they are taught. James Washington, now a deceased church historian, says that after every revolution, the winners of that revolution write down what the revolution was about so that their children can learn it, whether it's true or not. They don't learn anything at all about the Arawak, they don't learn anything at all about the Seminole, the Cheek-Trail of Tears, the Cherokee. They don't learn anything. No, they don't learn that. What they learn is 1776, Crispus Attucks was the one black guy in there. Fight against the British, the- terrible. "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal while we're holding slaves." No, keep that part out. They learn that. And they cling to that. And when you start trying to show them you only got a piece of the story, and lemme show you the rest of the story, you run into vitriolic hatred because you're desecrating our myth. You're desecrating what we hold sacred. And when you're holding sacred is a miseducational system that has not taught you the truth. I also think people don't understand condemn, D-E-M-N, D-A-M-N. They don't understand the root, the etymology of the word in terms of God condemning the practices that are against God's people. But again, what is happening is I talk a truth. Reading the scripture or the hermeneutic of a people who have-
BILL MOYERS: Hermeneutic?
REVEREND WRIGHT: Hermeneutic is an interpretation, it's the window from which you're looking is your hermeneutic. And when you don't realize that I've been framed- this whole thing has been framed through this window, there's another world out here that I'm not looking at or taking into account, it gives you a perspective that-- that is-- that is informed by and limited by your hermeneutic. Dr. James Cone put it this way. The God of the people who riding on the decks of the slave ship is not the God of the people who are riding underneath the decks as slaves in chains. If the God you're praying to, "Bless our slavery" is not the God to whom these people are praying, saying, "God, get us out of slavery." And it's not like Notre Dame playing Michigan. You're saying flip a coin; hope God blesses the winning team, no. That the perception of God who allows slavery, who allows rape, who allows misogyny, who allows sodomy, who allows murder of a people, lynching, that's not the God of the people being lynched and sodomized and raped, and carried away into a foreign country. Same thing you find in Psalm 137. That those people who are carried away into slavery have a very different concept of what it means to be the people of God than the ones who carried them away.
Atheist soldier claims harassment:
Hall said he enjoys being a team leader but has been told that having faith would make him a better leader.
"I will take care of my soldiers. Nowhere does it say I have to pray with my soldiers, but I do have to make sure my soldiers' religious needs are met," he said.
"Religion brings comfort to a lot of people," he said. "Personally, I don't want it or need it. But I'm not going to get down on anybody else for it."
Friday, April 25, 2008
"Your Man Jesus seems to be a bit of a son of a bitch when it comes to women," Roland said. "Was He ever married?"
The corners of Callahan's mouth quirked. "No," he said, "but His girlfriend was a whore."
"Well," Roland said, "that's a start."
Which, despite the Old Catholic School understanding of the Magdalene and Jesus' relationships with women, is a pretty damn good line in my book.
Anyway, I bring this up because I saw this posting this morning:
“I’m not comparing myself to Rosa Parks or Jesus Christ. I’m comparing myself to someone standing up for their rights. I’m just saying you can have an unpopular person who is criminalized and demonized. Jesus Christ was crucified by Pontius Pilate at my age. He was not a popular guy.” POST
-- From The Prisoner in Cell Block DD in GQ
Yes, folks, that's Girls Gone Wild producer Joe Francis comparing himself to Jesus! And that automatically brings to mind a rather surreal image of Buddy Christ hanging out at Padre (where else?) on Spring Break and getting drunk young coeds to take off their shirts in front of a video camera and make out. Take that, Willam DaFoe's hallucination about marrying the prostitute!
Seriously, though, everyone go read Mark Lewis Taylor's The Executed God so we can be sure about what we're talking about here. I find that dialogue best begins when we've defined the terms properly. Kind of like you really can't talk about privilege until we make sure that everyone understands that the word doesn't mean, "I'm buying my second Hummer because my first one was too small," but rather "I can drive to work at Princeton in my Hummer and not get stopped simply because I resemble the stereotype of someone who steals Hummers for a living." (Cornel West). Because losing a popularity contest is not what gets you executed by the state.
I hate this Jesus meek and mild shit. Really I do. This Jesus walks with me and talks with me and laughs at all my jokes bullcrap.
Jesus was tortured and terrible done to death for opposing a system that brutally dehumanized a majority of the world. For daring to tell people that they were worth more than the sacrifices they were paying or making. For letting them know that they were human beings, even though they were treated like dirt and property. And even though we in the West have reduced Jesus to a personal Superman who rescues us from our individual psychic distress, at the heart of the matter is, we all deep down understand that something is robbing us of our true human feeling, our willingness to reach out and touch a stranger with love because we really do love ourselves and when you love yourself you can't help but love another, because if we're all in-Christ, then we see our Others as Ourselves, we realize that we are Others to Others -- that we are even Others to Ourselves -- and we can bridge that gap anyway. Jesus loves us so we can do that.
So think about who or what are keeping us from that? Our desire to really live in community with the gentiles in our lives?
And let's also think about people who we can really compare with Jesus. NOT Joe Francis. Let's see ... Gandhi. Martin Luther King Jr. Oscar Romero. Malcolm X. Jean Donovan. Dorothy Kazel. Maura Clarke and Ita Ford. John Brown. James Chaney. Andrew Goodman. Michael Schwerner. Many more who die so that others will not be brutalized or tortured any more.