Author Archive: Miriam

blog against sexism day

That’s right. Today is not only International Women’s Day, but Blog Against Sexism Day – and it’s not over yet, so I can still slip in under the wire, because do you know how awful it would be to blog against sexism on the wrong day? That’s right, if we went off blogging about sexism more than one day of the year, women would start to feel like they “deserved to have equal rights” (Thanks Conservapedia! (via Twisty Faster)).

There are actually many women out there already blogging about this much better than I will. Here are links to just a few of them:

If it hasn’t been mentioned before, Shrub has a very good primer on privilege for men. There are also some great posts from a few good men out there. Please link to more blogs by men or women in the comments. Link it up against sexism!

I’ve been thinking lately about my position of privilege – the first tenet of which is “I don’t have to care or even notice that my privilege exists, so please don’t bring it up or I’ll get defensive.” It’s the first part that I’ve been thinking about, because not getting defensive (not reacting negatively) is much easier than acting positively in the first place. And it’s not radical to boot. No golden stars for that. (more…)

Looking for youth to blog on peace and justice

I got this from Susan Mark Landis, Peace Advocate of Mennonite Church USA, today. Thought I would put it out there…

Friends,
Sometime early next year, my office will be sending postcards to
Mennonite youth in high school, encouraging them to
Choose life!

(If you go to a Mennonite congregation that has given addresses of youth
to the Mennonite Education Agency, your youth will receive the postcard.
If not, you may send names/addresses to LisaA at Mennoniteusa dot org and she
will do a special mailing. The postcard is intended for Mennonite youth,
but we’re glad to send it to high schoolers from other denominations.)

The postcard will refer youth to a NEW! webpage for youth, about peace.
We’re looking for several youth who are articulate, willing to have
their words looked over before posting (it IS a church website),
thinking about peacemaking and willing to write at least weekly. As I
understand, this is called a blog.

Please talk to youth you would recommend and have them send me a note
expressing their interest, telling me what they would write about, how
they feel about the idea. (do NOT click return, please):
SusanML at MennoniteUSA dot org

Peace,
Susan

some small thoughts

radical self love
a roommate once wanted to start a “masturbate for peace” campaign. he was shot down by everyone he talked to. i now wish i had backed him up. but this isn’t really a post about that…

“love your neighbor as you love yourself.” is that a command or a statement of fact?

make someone happy – buy yourself an iPod.
maybe this is a post about that after all…

world peace
i’ve discovered the key to world peace. (more…)

YAR Madlib – Calling the church to go pee pee.

There isn’t actually a YAR Madlib in this post, because I haven’t taken the time to write one, but I think it’s a fantastic idea and someone should. I would love to see the results of our middle-school selves filling in YAR-post blanks with various middle-school crudities, and giggling our little heads off. Yes, that’s a potty joke in the title of my post. Yes, I’m immature.

I have a friend who is becoming a novice member of Reba Place. People do that. And Reba place is radical, right? Emerging church and all that? I mean, it is in Chicago, and has an intentional community attached to it. They are also still fighting over women in leadership – let alone LGBT rights or couples holding hands before marriage. And that’s not something new – that’s all fairly well rooted in Anabaptist tradition.

I can’t really pick on Reba, as I don’t know the details well at all, but sometimes the earnestly ‘Anabaptist’ church scares me as much as the fundamentalist/evangelical. And what really does define the Anabaptist tradition? Is it really a peace-making stance, or is it mainly an obsession with perfection, passive-aggression and boundary-drawing? Our defining issues in history have been buttons, mustaches, pianos, women, divorce, and queers. Keeping the church clean for Jesus. Go us.
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fallout

another Eric A Meyer (who happens to be a more prominent web designer than i am (you’ll find him, not me, if you google us)) made a google maps air strike simulation called HYDEsim. it shows on a map the basic range of an explosion using variables that you set.

he’s recieved some flack for ‘aiding the terrorists’ (ha), or the simulation being to simple (it doesn’t take into account some wider effects of an explosion), etc – though he points out that it’s not an easy thing to mock up with simple javascript.

it’s a nifty little learning tool, but more interesting to me is his recent blog post about it, talking about various places it’s been used and various people’s responses to it.

straight to jesus

npr’s Fresh Air did a report today on Exodus and the ex-gay movement. I only heard the first part, but found it fascinating.

For those of you who have seen ‘but i’m a cheerleader‘ and thought it was over the top – think again. most interestingly, the men in the ‘ministry’ aren’t allowed to join health clubs (gay), share cigarettes (um… gay), use ironic/sarcastic humor (totally gay), or wear certain styles of clothing. gay styles. totally totally gay styles. oh my goodness those styles are gay.

For those of you who haven’t seen ‘but i’m a cheerleader’ – go watch it now. it’s great fun.

the difference between ‘fair’ and ‘objective’.

i’m sure others have said this better. feel free to link to them.

as i read and watch the news i am continually surprised by the lazy reporting that comes out under the guise of being objective. i’m not concerned about fox news being a GOP lap-dog, or the fact that every news source actually has some bias – that seems so obvious as to be inconsequential. what bothers me is the method through which all the media outlets, with all their different biases, attempt to fascimilate objectivity.

i read over and over again that so-and-so said “this-and-such” and ‘the opponents’ are saying “that-and-whatever”. but at no point does the journalist bother to look into the facts on their own. we are still left taking the word of whatever sources are quoted. it’s the “crossfire” issue all over again. ‘fair and balanced’ lap-dogging is very different from solid objective reporting. we already know what everyone is saying, that’s a PR job, what we want to know is who has the facts behind them.
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against tradition: a polemic

(this started as a comment and then grew)

personally, i’m rather fond of ignoring the 1200 years of church history between constantine and menno. well, ignore isn’t quite the right word, and menno and constantine aren’t where i would stop.

honestly, constantine was obsessed with making a state church (bad idea) and menno was a strong proponent of celestial flesh theology (yes, jesus passed through mary as ‘water through a pipe’, and no, that was not supported by the science of the times). i’m not saying the last 2000 years are worthless, but they don’t get to be worthwhile guides just because they happened.

i agree that mennonites have a pretention of newness. we’ve been new for nearly 500 years now. in fact newness itself could be called a pretention if you believe that everything has already been thought of or done (give or take the advance of technology and everything that comes with it (such as globalization of nearly everything from world-views to nestlee’s quick).

but what say we reconsider some things? let’s even ignore the howevermanybillion years before christ, because we can (it’s especially easy to ignore the parts no one wrote down). if by ignore we mean ‘not to practice or agree with’ rather than ‘to pretend it never happened’, i’m happy to ignore quite a few things in and out of the bible and church history.

i think the church is in a horrible mess for being 2000 years old. i don’t mean that an organization at 2000 should be better than this one is, but that quite possibly organizations should never be aloud to get that old. too much red tape, too much baggage, too much confusion of the mission statement. i’ve seen three years water down a mission statement.
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second time around

for thos of you who missed it the first time around (and i guess now a second time, since we just got Katie’s new posts up), Katie posted a link (hidden deep in her introduction) to a great little speech she gave.

i wanted to pull it to the forground here and identify some of the fantastic questions it addresses – maybe get some conversations going over it.
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while we're doing introductions

we should also be doing trust falls and walks-a-miles.

maybe. on the other hand, here’s a bit about me: i’ve been involved with cpt and various other activist groups on and off since attending my first (gateway) SOA protest. i was in South Dakota for a bit, with the warriors on La Frambois island back in 2000, and went to Vieques, Puerto Rico several times to protest my government’s use of civilian farmland for target practice. etc.
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design update

just a few changes left to make. there’ll be a new background graphic for the footer, with a border that spans the whole page. also some other things maybe. i’ll do some work on the sidebar features and see what sweet plugins i can find. done all that.

if you’re up for some real excitement, turn off all the images (you can do this in the preferences of most browsers) and check out the back-up header. or turn of your css styles and view the page naked. (return to basic yar style)

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first yar meeting

some of us met today to rant about various things and worship golden calves. the usual. it was great. i see this being a fabulous little blog in the near future – and a major menno hit down the road. we’ve got ideas from hot topics (boring) to mennonite organizations (lame) to ‘evil vs. good’ and ‘who does god hate’ surveys (good) and bible verses of the day (hot). we’ll be talking theology, faith and irreverance – tradition and radical reform. we’ll be throwing metaphorical molotov coctails at your over-literal assumptions. we’ll be snobs about your snobbery and smugly reject your smugness. all that in one little blog with a silly title.

jo ho yo got nothin’ on this concern group.

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'peace play'

those of you around the Goshen College scene have probably heard of, witnessed, or even participated in the famous Goshen College Peace Play Contest. you should have – we’re talking submissions from international playwrights and… well… some fairly major questions about what a ‘peace play’ is.

my least favorite is the “crash” genre – airbrushed silhouettes of complexity. they make us feel all deep on the inside without actually pushing us beyond anything we’ve already thought of a million times. the self-flagellating genre is just as bad, and i’m not even sure about my own submission of the mennonite-woman-interview-play genre a few years back. it was a great interview – but i’m entirely sick of that genre. then there’s the allegory plays and the…
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