Monthly Archives: November 2006

What’s in a name?

Guess what Jerry and I did today? I’ve added another middle name to my legal name. Instead of just Rebekah JoAnne Bennetch, I’m now Rebekah J. Peters Bennetch. (note: a new middle name, not a new last name — so I’ll still be Rebekah Bennetch, technically)

Jerry’s name has changed a bit more than mine. The times, they are a’changin’.

[incidentally, it was pretty amusing to watch the older SGI lady scramble around, trying to figure out why HE was the one wanting to change his name, and not me]

EDIT: I meant to add, earlier, that I find J. Peters Bennetch pretty funny, solely on a pop-cultural level. It reminds me of one J. Peterman.

It’s that time of the year again

I’m offically listening to Christmas music. The tree will be put up this weekend. I’ve got tickets for this weekend’s symphony Handel’s Messiah concert. I’m plotting my Christmas craft gifts-to-make.

To get you in that festive mood, check these out:

  • Best for last: A horribly cheesy (and sadly, not ironic) video of Billy Idol selling out to sing “White Christmas.”

    Oh, how the mighty (read: punky) have fallen.

Read me:

The Sinner’s Guide to the Evangelical Right by Robert Lanham. Here’s a sample from his site that convinced me that this is one book that belongs on my shelf:

The Eleven Evangelical Commandments
Thou shalt have 11 since evangelicals go that extra mile and like to supersize things.

1. Though shalt say have a blessed day instead of goodbye to the cashier at Walgreens.

2. Thou shalt interpret “no spin zone” to mean “pillar of journalistic integrity.”

3. Thou shalt live in the suburbs, eat at The Olive Garden, and wear clothes made from polyblend fabrics.

4. Thou shalt wear clean underwear at all times in preparation for the rapture.

5. Thou shalt have a senior pastor who wears Hawaiian shirts and a youth minister with an earring.

6. Thou shalt become aware of pop culture trends eight years after the fact and co-opt these trends for Christian culture.

7. Thou shalt own a support the troops car magnet, a fish bumper sticker, and/or an embroidered flag sweater.

8. Thou shalt instinctively raise thy hands in praise whenever you hear Lite FM music with Christian lyrics.

9. Thou shalt believe that Harry Potter novels, Proctor & Gamble, and the teenage Goths who smoke clove cigarettes behind JCPenney’s are part of a global demonic conspiracy.

10.Thou shalt not speak ill of thy neighbor, unless thy neighbor is gay. Then it’s okay.

11.Thou shalt vote Republican and encourage your local Senator to change the party logo from an elephant to a fish.

Love it. Check out the book’s introduction (describing “Evangophopia”) and the bit on James Dobson (The “Evangelical Pope”).

Work it, Mr. Prime Minister.

Tonight on CBC they’re showing the Christmas movie, “Love Actually.” Sap that I am, it’s one of my favorites, particularly this scene of Hugh Grant:

Of course, the movie could be my favorite because it’s got lots of yummy English eyecandy — Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman etc. That, and it’s fun to watch a Prime Minister with the balls enough to stand up to a redneck President. (of course, all of these qualities are in addition to the film’s holiday and romantic sappiness)

[with the temps being below -20 all weekend (with -30+ windchills!), I've been a real homebody all weekend. To think, in less than two weeks, classes & marking will be done, and I can really hole up in my little housecave until the baby arrives! Can't. wait.]

How hateful is your home state?

There are 33 known hate groups in my home state of Virginia, 3 of which are right outside the small town where my parents live.

At least with Senator George Allen on the way out, we can rid ourselves of one less ignorant racist in the government.

Find out how many hate groups/incidents there are in your state over at the Southern Poverty Law Center website.

Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic:

There is in every village a torch – the teacher;
and an extinguisher – the clergyman.
~Victor Hugo


EDIT: Hmmm, I may be semi-eating my own words here. On last week’s This American Life, the story of Rev. Carlton Pearson was told — an evangelical pastor who turned heretic, by stopping preaching a gospel of fear but instead focusing on a “gospel of inclusion.” Here’s the summary of the hour-long radio interview:

The story of Reverend Carlton Pearson (pictured), an evangelical pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His church, Higher Dimensions, was once one of the biggest in the city, drawing crowds of 5,000 people every Sunday. But several years ago, scandal engulfed the Reverend, he was denounced by almost all his former supporters, and today his congregation is just a few hundred people. He didn’t have an affair. He didn’t embezzle lots of money. His sin was something that to a lot of people is far worse … he stopped believing in hell.

Imagine that. A pastor who isn’t explicitly (or even worse, implicitly implying) that if you don’t follow a moral life latently motivated by fear, you’ll be eternally punished in hell. Pearson even welcomes gay members into his congregation — gasp!

His change in theology wasn’t without a HIGH cost. Pearson was eventually ostracized from much of his megachurch congregation (many of whom will not publicly acknowledge him today), and members of his current congregation still face the “moral” platitudes of people who still are can’t see past the punitive measures and motivations of morality.

While I may not see eye to eye with Pearson in all spiritual issues, his story shows that maybe there’s hope for the church after all. It’s just too bad pastors like Pearson are in the minority these days.

Even for a self-proclaimed heretic as myself, I still found Pearson’s story interesting. Listen to the hour-long broadcast here.

The coldest college cup game in Canada

Tomorrow is the big college championship game in Canada, the Vanier Cup. This year I’m literally on the game’s back doorstep — the stadium it’s being held in, Griffiths Stadium, is right across the street from our front door and one of the two teams playing is our very own University of Saskatchewan Huskies!

13,000 fans are expected to brave the -20 temps (-30 windchills!) tomorrow afternoon. I think I’ll safely stay inside my warm little house-cave, and let the die hard fans have fun on those frozen aluminum stands (at least they can drink beer to keep warm!).

I’ll jump on the proverbial wagon and will cheer my “Go Huskies” wearing my bunny slippers next to my heater, thankyouverymuch.

UPDATE: Apparently the Huskies lost. After the game was over (around 4:30-5pmish), there was a huge display of fireworks — or, so we heard. It was pretty loud and sounded like a part of our house was exploding! Ah well.