Monthly Archives: January 2010

Little grrrl meets even littler grrrl

Emma got to meet the littlest addition to our good friends, Eric and Shawna. Em was SO thrilled to get to “hold” the baby.

(and no, Mom, I’m not planning on having another one of my own — I’m happy to borrow and then go home with my one!)

What they sang:

Hard Believer
First Aid Kit

So you ask for my opinion
Well what is there to say
To be honest and just foolish
Won’t make you wanna stay
You’ve got to go on and get moving
I can’t do that for you
Got so many plans and so much you want to do

Love is tough, time is rough
Love is tough, time is rough
Whoaaaa on me

Well I see you’ve got your bible
Your delusion imagery
Well I don’t need your eternity
Or your meaning to feel free
I just live because I love to
And that’s enough you see
So don”t come preach about morality
That’s just human sense to me

Love is tough, time is rough
Love is tough, time is rough
Whoaaaa on me
On me-eeee .. on me-eee …

And it’s one life and it’s this life
And it’s beautiful
And it’s beau .. beau .. beau … beautiful

Love is tough, time is rough
Whoaaaa on me


The power of a "revisionist"

Yesterday the historian Howard Zinn died at age 87. Over on The Nation, there’s a fitting tribute to some of what he contributed to us all in his four-score plus years, including this quote:

From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.

I remember my first encounter with Dr. Zinn — I was in 11th grade (or as Canadians like to say, Grade 11). It was in my AP US History class, with Ms. Hearn, one of my favorite-ever teachers. She gave us the book A People’s History of the United States to read. I remember that after I read that first chapter on Columbus’s discovery of North America, I never thought of history the same way again.

This first chapter focused on the disease that ravaged through the indigenous tribes of the Americas, brought to them by the Europeans. I had never thought about “the other side” before when it came to reading history — reading this first chapter turned on something inside of me, and I think it helped to jumpstart much of my sense of social justice that I feel today.

I remember talking to my dad about some of what I was reading in this class, and I heard him dismissively label it as “revisionist history.” I think it was meant to be a slam on Zinn, but the older I grow, the more value I see in people taking revisionist approaches.

When I starting reading and considering the Bible in more revisionist ways, I started seeing through the happy Sunday-School stories I was taught, and saw some of the underlying ugliness. Noah’s Ark no longer was about cute animals walking two-by-two, but instead was a story of a genocide to cover up God’s mistake. The plagues of the Exodus no longer showed how God saved Israel, but instead illustrated how creative God could be when punishing anyone he deemed as “the other.” Job wasn’t just the story of a faithful man, but a tale of how God is eager to use us all as pawns in supernatural bets.

We all know how my revisionist readings of the Bible and my revisionist approaches to theology & dogma took me in my “faith journey.”

So, today, I’m thinking of Howard Zinn, and appreciating how it’s partially because of his unique way of looking at the world that I was influenced to go beyond what is conventional.

tired, tonight.

Sweet Darkness
by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize it own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

grrrl meets bulletin

grrrl meets bulletin, originally uploaded by becky b..

Last night I designed a bulletin insert for all the United churches in the area. I’m helping put on St. Andrew’s “Winter Refresher” conference in a couple weeks, and I’m in charge of promotions (since I couldn’t really offer much in terms of planning worship or liturgy, etc).

I’m actually really looking forward to hearing the speaker, Timothy Beal, a religious studies scholar, specializing in the Bible/religion & pop culture. Over the weekend I bought one of his books, Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know. The introduction to that book is entitled “How to read the Bible like President Obama … or Bob Dylan.” Check out his list of books here. I’m thinking of picking up his book on theodicy from the library later today.

Even though I don’t believe in the Bible, and think that much of it is utter crap, I also see the value in being religiously literate in today’s world. Emma will grow up knowing about the Bible, and other religious books — it’s important that she recognizes how we humans have tried to understand the world around us (and have succeeded or failed in the process).


Carvens is a Hatian-American poet and performer from New York City. He was on the 2009 Urban Word NYC slam team. His poem, “Haiti” was written a year ago and has a startling prophetic tone in the wake of recent tragic events in Haiti.

So powerful that I feel just speechless.

[via a blog you should read]

Trust women

Happy 37th birthday, Roe v. Wade.