Gender

Introducing myself: An excuse to navel-gaze.

I’m Skylark, a self-described YAR who found this place totally by accident. I was looking for info on Jerry Jenkins coming to Kidron Mennonite because I’m the newspaper reporter who covers Kidron. This was the first hit in a Google search. Hi Tom. :-) I got sucked into Tom’s post about his concerns over Jerry Jenkins’ visit. One post lead to another, and I really like this place.

A little about me: I’m 23, female, Mennonite, pacifist, and vegetarian. Over the summer I followed the progress of Bike Movement (Denver Steiner and I go to the same church), and of course I covered it when BikeMovement came to Kidron Mennonite in August. It seems like almost anything that happens event-wise in Kidron is at that church. :-P Not that there are many other options for venues. That put me in contact with an area Christian young adult group. I’ve been a part of the group since. I’ve totally gotten on board with Denver’s push at church to create safe spaces where young adults and others can ask “unsafe” questions and explore issues we would otherwise ignore in favor of more sanitized church activities. My mentor and I have gotten to know each other a lot better lately, and we’ve known each other since I was 13, so that’s pretty cool. (more…)

Saint Agatha

[Icon of Saint Agatha] In the middle of the third century, Emperor Decius of Rome announced an edict against the Christians, the most ruthlessly violent yet. Senator Quintianus, seeing an opportunity, offered to drop charges against one particularly beautiful Christian woman, a virgin, in exchange for sexual favors. When she refused, he sold her to a brothel to break her—but she managed to stave off ‘customers’ there as well. Furious, Quintianus subjected her to savage torture and sexual mutilation; her breasts were cut off and she was rolled on burning coals. “Cruel man,” she cried, “have you forgotten your mother and the breast that nourished you, that you dare to mutilate me this way?” In a vision, St Peter appeared to take away her pain. She was near death when an earthquake struck the city and drove away her tormentors. She thanked God for an end to this terror, for the patience to suffer for the sake of Christ, and gave up her spirit.

Today, February 5, is the feast day of Saint Agatha, whose story has been told since the early days of the church. Pray to her for the protection and deliverance of women everywhere who suffer from abuse, rape, and every manner of sexual offense.

“Jesus Christ, Lord of all things! You see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am—you alone. I am your sheep; make me worthy to overcome the devil.” —Saint Agatha

Men Challenging Patriarchy in the Church?

Maybe I should explain where I’m coming from. For a while now I’ve been struggling personally with how to deal with patriarchy in the church – most specifically male language for God, the male images of God I can’t seem to get rid of, and views about sexuality from the church and the Bible that seem to vastly over-represent the experience of men. I’ve been reading Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissent Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from the Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine, which has very beneficial in helping me see things like the workings of male dominance and how one woman responds. But as Monk Kidd notes in the book, it seems that for those who have grown up male, the process of challenging patriarchy in our spiritual lives is distinctly different than for those who have grown up female. There may, of course be some overlap, but Monk Kidd suggests that perhaps the journey for the latter category is toward recovering the self, and the former toward humility. So I’m looking for some role models, men who’ve thought deeply and tried to act and live in new ways – because I think men fighting patriarchy has to have a different slant to it than when women do.

For comparison, reading Tim Wise’s eye-opening and personal insights in White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, gave me an idea of what it can look like act as a conscientious white person attempting to be anti-racist. And in that vein, I’m wondering if other folks are aware of well-grounded stories of men writing about what it’s like to confront patriarchy in the church and their personal spiritual lives (preferably confronting heterosexism too, but such texts might be few and far between). I’m interested in male feminist theologians too, but the details of day-to-day life and church seem more pressing to me at the moment. So, recommendations?

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…)