Here we are, the end of another week. I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here it’s rainy and cold. I’d like to spend my day curled up with a mug of hot tea and a good book. Sadly, it’s not to be. I hope you all are more successful in your plans for today. Meanwhile, here’s what’s going on:
1. About that song…
By now I’m sure many of you have heard the Brad Paisley/LL Cool J song “Accidental Racist,” or at least heard of it. I’m sure lots of you thought, “Wow! That’s very cool that they’re addressing modern racism.” Yeah, not so much. Go listen to the song (if you can stomach it), then read this post over at Shakesville. This about sums it up:
What’s being described in the song is a White man wearing a t-shirt with a Lynyrd Skynyrd logo, which features the Confederate flag, and expecting Black people to understand it only means what he wants it to mean. That is neither unintentional nor accidental. That is obliging marginalized people to center privileged people’s rewriting of a history to salve their own discomfort with that history.
2. Hope for the future
This post, An Open Letter to The Church from My Generation, has gotten quite a lot of attention. (This is one where I think you should just avoid the comments. Not worth the headache.) She suggests that the real reason young people are leaving the Church (and even their faith) is the Church’s reluctance to accept its position on the wrong side of history. It’s an eloquent plea for the Church to stop fighting change and instead grab a cup of coffee and sit down for a chat. Sounds just about right to me.
But my generation, the generation that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away, will not stick around to see the church fight gay marriage against our better judgment.
3. About a body
I love this wonderful post by Andi Cumbo. I think I’ve linked it everywhere except this blog (and now I’ve remedied that). She puts words to exactly what I want to do–create safe space for my kids to ask questions. As a child, I knew the hard, cold facts. But questions were often off-limits because they were strange or embarrassing or “rude.” Yes, it’s uncomfortable, at least in part because of this generational failure to be open. It’s necessary, though, if we want our children to grow up with healthier views than we did.
I heard lots of conversations – a friend losing her virginity in a shower, another wearing a “promise” ring, boys and whispers about boobs and third base. I heard lots of lectures, too – wait until you’re married, God made sex for marriage, women were made to be the helpmeet to men.
But no one talked to me about my body or about sex. No one answered my questions. No one asked if I even had any.
4. Beautiful honesty in struggle
These two posts–about expectations within marriage and about living with rapid-cycling bipolar–are both achingly honest and brutally lovely. Everyone has challenges, and it helps to know we’re not alone. Whatever you’re struggling with today, I hope that you find comfort and hope in these women’s words, even in the midst of difficulty. Today, find a friend or be a friend, and open your heart to listen.
Airing out our unmet expectations didn’t magically transform our despair into joy and contentment . . . But it did allow us to evolve with one another, to reevaluate what our marriage would look like as Christians and feminists… [from Unmet Expectations in a Feminist Christian Marriage]
When depression comes. It’s a black numb night with no stars. Everything becomes about me: about how God is taking special notice of my situation and punishing me. How nobody likes me. How every movement of the world is designed for my special torture.
Mania is all about the stars. Or, rather, the star: Me. Because when I’m manic, you’d be a fool not to notice me, want me, befriend me, sit in the sheer awe of magnificence.[from I is for Me]
5. Christian identity
This fantastic post by Tina Francis about identifying as a Christian and being ourselves was one of the best things I’ve read this week. The cultural differences are fascinating to me. One of the things I took away from this post is that the way we come across may not be read the way we want it to when it comes to people who didn’t grow up in our western culture. That understanding about what Christian discourse looks like makes me think that we Christians need to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking.
Because I did not grow up in the West, I sometimes find it tough to follow social discourse. This is especially true for the plot lines (read: battle-lines) in the Christian Blogosphere. It’s like watching a game of tennis, with words instead of balls. My head bobs from side to side as I try to understand what each person is grunting about. You say, “Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory”; I hear, “Pee Pee Glibitty Glob.” I find myself lost because I haven’t read the right books, listened to the right music, or watched the right movies. So I don’t always get the references.
6. Naked Pastor takes one for the team
Because David so kindly tackled this, I didn’t have to. Many thanks! (And have I mentioned how much I love when men get all feminist? Remind me to link to some other good ones sometime.) Anyway, Lee Grady used some loaded terms in his post Six Women Leaders to Avoid. Go read it if you want some deep feminist rage. Instead of pointing out traits to avoid in any leader, he used words associated almost exclusively with things many people dislike about women. Fortunately, David drew a great cartoon and offered a well-written commentary in response. (Also, when you read the last part about traits to avoid in any leader, guess which well-known preacher came immediately to my mind?)
It’s that old fallacy that men allow women to do what men do but under certain restrictions and expectations. Our club has been dominated by men for centuries but we’re going to now allow women to join. Now these are the rules.
7. Your humor for the day
It is entirely possible that I know and am related to the author of this blog. Maybe. I might also be a little bit proud of the person for creating it. I hope you enjoy the blogger’s take on Hilarious Lambs, More Hilarious Lambs, Even More Hilarious Lambs, and my personal favorite, Too Many Hilarious Lambs.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Back on Monday for [DUN DUN DUN] 50 Shades of