Bias

Split Youth in the Southern Cone

Bouncing directly from Angie’s latest post… always got to give a shout-out to Dorothy! But Last week the passion for exclusion came not from the institution, but from the people themselves, YOUNG people, and a student in seminary…

At the Southern Cone Mennonite Anabaptist meetings in Uruguay last week, there was a large division among the Chilean, Argentinean, Paraguan and Uruguayan youth about what was important about church and our lives as Christians. After a large time of dialogue together as young people, a small group of youth got together and wrote a letter (which was read in front of the whole assembly) about the fact that they were worried about a few themes (of the many that were mentioned in the youth meeting and throughout the conference). They took an anti-dialogue stance towards the mention of issues such as homosexuality, abortion, sex before marriage, and referring to God as Mother and Father/inclusive language. In the letter they invited everyone to do further study of the bible so that it is clear that all these practices are sin and they condemned anyone who practices or teaches these things. (more…)

Wealth: A Mennonite’s experience in London

Pedestrians on the London Bridge during the evening commute out of the City of London

I’ve always known I’ve had a problem with The Rich. I had a bias against The Rich for a long time. It also took me a while to notice I was one of them. I had expected to have inner conflicts by traveling to “third-world” countries (low life expectancy, low standard of living, low literacy rates, high poverty) and being faced with extreme poverty – not only an opposite lifestyle than I was used to, but also a lifestyle that was in direct relationship with my lifestyle : my demands had caused their poverty.

I’ve also known that Mennonites have appeared to favor missions and outreach to places with high levels of poverty and have had few resources to spend for missions and outreach to the upper echelons of society. I knew for this reason that living in one of the highest affluent areas in London could prove interesting as a missionary. I hadn’t, however, expected inner conflicts and deep moments of pain and sorrow as a result.

Have you tried living in the world’s most expensive city while having a deep theological and personal foundation of identity in walking with and learning from the Poor of the earth? It’s trying and tiring. (more…)

Polygamous Anabaptists

The Mennonite Weekly Review reported this week that the world’s largest Anabaptist Conference, the Meserete Kristos Church of Ethiopa, recently made two groundbreaking (maybe even radical) decisions. One is that women can now be fully active in leadership in the church. My only comment to that one is: well done, the church will be better for it. More interesting to me is the other decision. Polygamous converts can now be baptised into the church without divorcing all but one of their wives. The church is still saying monogamy is the way to go (their “teaching position”) and men shouldn’t marry any more wives once they are part of the church (also probably shouldn’t be leaders).

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Bothersome?

Apparently the U.S. is developing (officially or unofficially) a dress code that proscribes T-shirts with Arabic lettering. I hadn’t heard about this story until this morning when a friend sent me the link to a BBC News article. He told me that he heard about it when he saw this video on CNN’s website. I must say what happened to Raed Jarrar is a little disturbing. שָׁלוֹם

feel-good progressive evangelical leader getting old

I recently went to hear Jim Wallis speak near Minneapolis. I went because I had a question I wanted to ask him and because I wanted to see if my annoyance with him is more than me just being cranky. He was pimping the paperback version of his most recent book so I thought I would go. He talked for a long time and was “funny” and “charming” and didn’t really say any thing I haven’t heard from him before in radio interviews or writings for Sojourners. I haven’t even read his book and I’m tired of it.
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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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