Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mary Daly Dies

Radical feminist theologian Mary Daly has died. An appreciation in the independent Catholic paper National Catholic Reporter calls her "a mother of modern feminist theology." What does radical feminist theology sound like? National Catholic Reporter shares an excerpt from a piece Daly wrote for the New Yorker: "Ever since childhood, I have been honing my skills for living the life of a radical feminist pirate and cultivating the courage to win. The word ‘sin’ is derived from the Indo-European root ‘es-,’ meaning ‘to be.’ When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a woman trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, ‘to be’ in the fullest sense is ‘to sin.’" That's classic Daly.

The above is excerpted from an article at the UTNE Reader. To read the rest of the article:

Thanks to blogger Jon for sending this along!

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Christian Peacemaking Workshop

What is Christian Peacemaking?

Holy Cross Lutheran in Bellevue invites you to a round table discussion, "What is Christian Peacemaking?" on Saturday, January 30th from 8 - 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran, 4315 129th Pl SE, Bellevue.

Based on materials produced and distributed by the Lutheran Peace Fellowship, the discussion will expose and examine the various myths and stereotypes regarding peacemaking. By doing so, this session will help participants respond to the gift and call of Jesus' way of shalom. Glen Gersmehl, national coordinator of Lutheran Peace Fellowship will facilitate the discussion.

The Lutheran Peace Fellowship is a community of Christians across the U.S. and around the globe responding to the gospel call to be peacemakers and justice seekers. Based in Seattle since 1994, it offers workshops and forums, support for fellowship, brochures and other materials, and support for education and dialogue on issues of war and peace, justice and non-violence. For more information on the Lutheran Peace Fellowship, visit their website at

This roundtable is one of a series of discussions hosted and facilitated by Holy Cross Lutheran of Bellevue. For more information, call 425.746.4848.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 18, 2010

VERY Ancient Hebrew Text Discovered

The article's title is: "Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier, Text Suggests" - and, well, the text doesn't suggest that, actually. The text is apparently from the 10th century BCE, and bears some striking resemblance to several Biblical scriptures. This is earlier than any extant Hebrew writing discovered to date.

The article claims that scholars think Hebrew writing didn't exist before the 6th century, which isn't true. Scholars believe the Hebrew Bible as we have it now was formed more or less in the 6th century, but drawn from and made with already-existing writings under extensive editorial revision. The discovery of the text is definitive proof that Hebrew writing existed centuries earlier, something that couldn't have been proven before - so there is something new. But hardly as revolutionary as the title makes it out to be. It also corroborates what scholars have long believed: that strands of what we inherited as the Hebrew Bible are in fact very ancient and had been in circulation long before the final composition of the definitive texts of the 6th century BCE.

Thanks to blogger Jon for sending this my way!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Truce in Seattle

Being back in Seattle, I thought I might start organizing peace and justice concerts and events again - my little votes for a more assertive peace church personality for my local congregation (and denomination). I was playing songs for my daughter about the incredible "Christmas Truce" on the Western Front of World War I in 1914, when I realized that this year is the 95th anniversary of that belief-defying night.

On Christmas Eve, 1914, soldiers on both sides along the trenches from Flanders to the Swiss Frontier spontaneously and almost universally negotiated with each other an informal "truce" for the night. In the night, soldiers from both sides came out from their trenches and met each other in No Man's Land, exchanged greetings, cigarettes, and trinkets. Carols were sung, improvised Christmas Trees decorated, contraband liquor shared. The next morning, the truce miraculously held, and each side gathered the dead from the battlefield and buried them together side-by-side. In many places, the truce lasted past New Year's Eve, by when of course Generals and Colonels had heard about this treasonous truce negotiated without their consent - and were taking steps to stop it (replacing and moving regiments about that had participated in the truce so that they were facing troops along the trenches that they hadn't met and comisserated with over the holidays). And WWI went on. But not without a profound note of the possibility of Peace being heard across a continent mobilized for war.

I am organizing a celebration of the 95th anniversary of this momentous event, and it seems the stars are aligned, because so much is coming into place so quickly. West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice is on board for helping with promotion and logistics. The Seattle Labor Chorus has eagerly agreed to participate. The Seattle Peace Chorus is considering amending their already-busy holiday schedule to include the event. I have a readers theater piece about the event almost fully cast with fine readers. I have a sound system lined up to use. Organizations and other local events are very cooperative in advertizing and promoting the celebration. People are coming out of the woodwork to help. And just today I received a cd of a singer who performs one of the best songs about the 1914 truce - and he wants to play at the event.

I am giddy with excitement and amazed that this event is coming together with so little time to be put together. Somebody must want us to celebrate peace, I tell ya!

The event, if you'd like to come, will be at the Highland Park Community of Christ (8611 11th Ave SW, Seattle), at 7PM, December 24th (Christmas Eve). It will tell the story of the Christmas Truce in narrative, letters, songs and images from the period. There will be an opportunity for other local peace and justice organizations to set up tables for people to look at and learn more about them. There will be no charge for the event.

I'll try to post updates as the event develops. Needless to say, I am thrilled to death about this, and can't wait until Christmas Eve! :-)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, that didn't take long...

Our old home church in Highland Park was short a "guest minister" for this coming Sunday, so they scraped the bottom of the barrel and asked me.

Ridin' the range once more

That's right, fans, I will be preaching this Sunday, in West Seattle. The theme: Speak Boldly. Oh yes... yes, I will.

Totin' my old .44

The Old Testament has 44 books in it (well, almost). The scripture for this Sunday? The story of Esther, a daring heroine who saves the Jewish people from disaster in Persia!

Where you sleep out every night, and the only law is right

Esther is practically a Marxist dramedy (seriously!). It is one of the only books in the Bible not to mention God at all (really!). It is fraught with tension, irony and humor (no, really!). The collaborationist bourgeoisie get their comeuppance (well, they get hanged), and the ruling class is a pawn of their own vanity and the conspiracies of capitalist climbers, and in the end the workers come out on top (well, they survive at least).

Back in the saddle again.

Yeehaw! That's right, folks, the greatest show on earth is BACK! (And, besides the Puyallup Fair, I'm preaching, too!)

Seriously, if you have any inkling, you're more than invited (I mistyped "incited" just now... hmmm) to come.

Show starts at 11AM at 8611 11th Avenue SW, Seattle WA 98106.

And who knows, afterward lunch buffet at Maharaja?!

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Percy Bysshe Shelley died this day in 1822

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.

Read about his life and work here.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

American Pastor Welcomes Guns in Church

"I think when people first learned about this invitation to wear guns to church, many people were deeply troubled," said Terry Taylor, one of the organizers. "The idea of wearing guns to churches or any sacred space I think many people find deeply troubling."

And, um, no one thought to ask why? If they did, it wasn't mentioned in the article.
At what point does "selling out" just not begin to cover the issues?
Even more troubling: this pastor draws 150 people a week to his services.

Labels: , ,