Sorry to all the people I know who give to OCC with the best of intentions, but it really isn’t helping like you want it to. Westernization isn’t the same as spreading God’s Kingdom. It simply isn’t. God’s Kingdom transcends human culture, while at the same time encompasses a diverse range of people. I’ll say it again: Westernization isn’t the same as Christian missions. If anything, marrying Christianity to Western culture in the form of Christendom/Roman Catholicism and Protestant Missions during European colonization back fired in many ways: Residential schools in Canada and the USA, Apartheid in South Africa, genocides in Rwanda, way the Hindu people were treated in India, and etcetera. All examples of Westernizing non-European cultures that lead to the Christian efforts nearly destroying the people they wanted to help.
Originally posted on Patheos’ Marcus Borg here.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what I wish every Christian knew. On my list: I wish all Christians, especially American Christians, knew the book of Amos.
My reasons are both personal and more than personal. Amos was responsible for one of the three major conversions in my life. Two were intellectual and religious: a conversion to the study of religion and an experiential conversion to the conviction that God is real. The third was political: from the conservative political orientation I absorbed while I was growing up to what I have learned from the Bible and Jesus.
Amos was the trigger. In my junior year in college in a political philosophy course, we spent a week on Amos. The encounter stunned me. Speaking in the name of God, he passionately indicted the powerful and wealthy of his time because they had created an economic system that privileged them and inflicted misery and suffering on most of the population.
Prior to that class, I had no idea that there was anything like this in the Bible. Yet I had grown up with the Bible and had memorized more verses than anybody I knew. But nobody had ever asked me to read Amos or any of the prophets. I knew of them primarily through isolated verses that we understood to be prophecies of the coming of Jesus. The prophets were “predictors” of events centuries in the future from their point in time. It had not occurred to me that Amos and the prophets in general might have had a message for their own time and place. Continue reading
Content Warning: Strong language! Continue reading
Couldn’t have said it better. Beautifully written about a heinous topic. Thank you for voicing the words better than most of us ever could. I will share this to my blog so word is spread. Who knows… Might convince more white people to wake the f*** up!
What the hell are you thinking? One white, non-residential school raised, woman of age and experience to another. Seriously. What the hell are you thinking?
This CBC news article crossed my feeds this morning. For some time, I thought, I’ll just let aboriginal Canadians fill you in. After all, the residential school experience is their story to tell. Then I thought, oh no white lady who never had to go through residential school, you are mine. You walk around in that skin, looking like me, reaping all the privilege that your powerful position and your colour lays upon your doorstep. No. You are mine. Why should other people have to deal with you?
So, you want to “focus on the good” of the residential school experience. You want people to look at the silver lining. Some children received an education. Some children learned valuable lessons about…
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Chapter 1: I Let You Leave… Why?
After Lana and Theron parted ways, Theron looked at Crimsèn and smiled bitterly. “What a ride, huh? If you’d told me when we met all the ups and downs we’d go through together, I’d have called you crazy,” he says and then says lightly, “Maybe I called you crazy anyway. I don’t remember anymore. Between all my family fun with Revan and the Grand Master, and then, well, you…”
Crimsèn cuts in and asked gently, “Care to finish that thought?”
Theron replied, “I won’t lie: You’ve been one of the two real bright spots in all of this.”
“Two,” Crimsèn asks, “What do you mean?”
Theron said sadly, “Well, look, there isn’t any easy way to say this, but… I mean, we both knew this would have to end eventually… The Republic exonerated me, so I’m back in the fold. And they gave me a new job A big one.”
Crimsèn replied then, “I guess I can see where this is leading…”
Theron nods. He says sadly, “Soon as we rejoin the fleet and make the jump to light-speed, that’s it. No more truce. You and I, we probably won’t exchange another word ever again.”
Crimsèn replies, “Who needs words,” before pulling Theron into his arms and kissing him in the darkness of Yavin IV’s jungles. Then… they simply parted ways.
All that once was, seems to be slipping away. I see the darker things, the spiralling things as part of my illness. They’re not me, and I no longer wish to entertain them any longer.
A way from me dark thoughts!
Today in a couple of hours, I will be enjoying cultural Caribbean and African food in celebration of black history month.
African, French, Jewish, Irish, and maybe German exist within me.
All are me, yet none can solely define me, so I try to embrace all of them. After years of not being sure where I fit, I see I wasn’t meant to “fit” in anything other than be Canadian, and most importantly to be me.
Attention to all aspects of myself takes work, and is a challenge,yet a part of me they all are. To neglect one is to sell myself short. I can’t sell myself short. Allow myself to settle for less, I will not. There are so many ways I already adhere to them all:
The African in me from my father’s side has curly, thick hair. My skin is tanned. I love the spicy food, and add it to foods when I can. I love the warmth of the sun, bask in summer’s humidity, and feel the warmth of warm water. Yet, the Caucasian in me leaves my hair fine and soft. I love a good stew, and enjoy dancing in a ceilidh. I yearn for the Island’s Northumberland Strait, and appreciate winter when it comes.
I have some Jewish ancestors from my mother’s side… Are they why I love reading the Torah, and the prophets? Are they why I wish Protestant churches would sing more of the Psalms? Yet the Christian, and perhaps God’s Spirit, within me breathes Jesus into the verses and sees King Jesus in the Psalms about the Messiah.
I think the French me cries for the acceptance of all sexuality between consensual adults and all gender identities, even though I’m asexual and aromantic. All are me and all are a apart of me.
Today, I will be celebrating the African in me that eventually came to the Caribbean. As I understand it, my ancestors were free black people and not slaves. At least, that’s what my dad told us. I’ll enjoy delicious food and learn about the people in Canada of African descent who shaped Canadian history, a brave move on their part given they came from warm climate to a not so warm climate. They’re part of my people, and I’m proud to celebrate them.
This was done during a writing workshop. Thank you to the fellow writer for the inspiration!
I sip my usual coffee: two creams, two Splenda, and whip cream on top. The warm liquid soothes my slightly irritated throat. It distracts from the laptop in front of me with the blank page. I narrow my eyes at it: It demands I put something on it. It commands me to bare my soul. It wants me to write words that flow from sentence to comparative paragraph to transition sentence to brilliant idea never written about before.
What’s even worse is my page isn’t entirely blank. I know, I spoke a small fib earlier: My page has a prompt at the top. It should be an easy prompt, perfect for a coffee shop: Write out the conversations around you. Good idea, writing prompt! So, good, I ran here the moment my creative writing class at the University of Toronto was done. I ordered my usual writing beverage of choice: coffee with two cream, two Splenda, and whipped cream on top. I set my laptop up, and sat down in my not usual seat. Normally I sit at the booth in the corner of the shop. It has an outlet underneath it, and I find it’s more secure for my more intense homework. Not today: I don’t plan to be here for hours, and the seat with wooden table in the middle of the conversations made it the logical choice.
I sat with my coffee and was ready to type. My hands were at the keyboard ready to type. I heard interesting conversations at first: Business deal going well, daughter talking to her father about troubles with her siblings, and mother soothing her baby to calm its tears. I wrote these down in my small notepad while I waited for my laptop to boot up. Then the words around me slowly grew quiet. It was strange.
Why are the conversations are so quiet? The people around me don’t appear to be whispering. I discreetly leaned over to hear. I could catch a few more words in my notebook. Then I heard words in a different language. I tried to ignore them, since I wouldn’t be able to write them down. But then it interrupted the other conversations and I couldn’t hear a damn thing.
Now all I can hear is Latin! Latin! It started as a small sentence. I hardly heard it at first– I thought it was French. Slowly I realized it was more Latin, like the Harry Potter spells. Why is Latin, Latin, Latin, and more Latin all I can hear now? I didn’t come here to learn Latin, but to write out English conversation! Is that a fancy form of deafness?
“She thinks she’s gone deaf, hah! What an idiot!” I look around when I heard the English. I can’t see the voicer, so I write down her sentence and the conversations I’ve heard already. What am I going to do? A few sentences seem so incomplete. Yet, it’s a start, right? A start can spark something more: Like, I can build on the conversations so the infant can’t be consoled; the business deal is about to go south; or the sibling being bitched about walks in, OR the mother walks in on the father-daughter conversation only to hear the daughter complain about her! These ideas are good; I’d best get to work!
“What if the place blows up in a fit of black magic? What if you shift a bit and fart into the seat?” It was that voice again! What is this voice, where is it coming from? I look up and around—There’s no one speaking to me? Did the voices in my head go awry? Continue reading
It’s that time of year again: The time where importance, awesomeness, and completeness of romantic/sexual relationships are pushed to the forefront of human existence in Western Countries. We see it in the stores, advertised at the Cinemas, and read it about it throughout our social media feeds. It is proof nothing is above being turned into a money grabber, including the wonderful world of love. Because why bother loving love for love’s sake, when one can love all the love of money and making money the stores get by setting aside one day a year to commercialize love?!
Pfft. I’d rather count down the minutes until the expensive chocolates become dirt cheap on the 15th, while enjoying watched Chopped Canada and eat delicious all-veggie, low carb stir fry. It’s cheaper on my bank account, sticks it to the commercializers, and holds up the invisible Singlehood is AWESOME and Aromantic Asexuals Unite sign for all to see.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good love story. I love in a familial/friendship way. But days where it’s paraded like I’m missing out on winning the lottery because I’m single gets repetitive, boring, and tedious after a while. If push comes to shove, it makes me anxious and down right pissed off! It’s no ones concern, nor business, that I have 0 interest in finding a partner, never mind donate DNA to the human population! The joys of being in between indifference and repulsion when it comes to all things romantic and sexual.
Aromantic Asexual: Someone who experiences little to no romantic/sexual attraction.
Sex/Romance-indifference: indifferent to sex/romance; a lot of asexuals fall under this
Sex/Romance repulsed: they are against sex, and finding it disgusting; some asexuals fall under this. joys of being a minority within a minority
So what happens to me on a day like Valentine’s Day? Well, I get up in the morning and go about my routine while counting down the minutes until the chocolates go on sale!Or I get up and do research about the Christian Saint this day was named after. I’ll give you a hint regarding his biography: It ain’t about some dude who bought some gal flowers, chocolates, and wrote poetry that lead to them gettin hitched. Oh and St. Valentine’s biography is neither about some dude buying another dude those things either, some gal for some gal, nor a non-binary person with another non-binary person.
Valentine’s Day for me is just another day on the calendar between myself and dirt cheap chocolate (if you like chocolate), and a giant reminder of why I shake my head at society’s POINTLESS obsession with partnering people off. To commemorate this occasion, I’m going to list my other eye rolls down below:
- I raise my eyes to the hills, and see yet another healthy sexuality workshop appearing out of the wood-works. How many of these stupid things do I have to go to in my lifetime, before people accept that the only healthy sexuality is this: Between piles of polygons, or not interested.
- I’m confused as to why two novel series (aka Twilight and 50 Shades) weren’t incinerated across the globe in a massive bonfire… Never mind why novels where the male is once again rescuing the female, or clearly is the abuser is dubbed as “good books” every female to read. How about I read how to annihilate them from existence?
- Hearing instructions about safe lesbian sex in a common area… and only thing I remember about it was it was about lesbian sex… and even what kind of sex is fuzzy in my mind.
- Young women surrounding me at Bible College during an all resident meeting where I asked the dudes a blatant question: “Why in the fucking hell would I EVER want to marry one of you? And please don’t say it’s cause we need to reproduce in a world with a human population of 7 billion people.” Well, okay, I didn’t ask it with all the cussing… That would’ve made all in the room die from a heart attack I think. Bad enough I was challenging the “sanctity” and “awesomeness” of heterosexual marriage. Guess what??? I’m challenging it again with this picture:
- I stare into the stars and ask my Father in Heaven this question: “You know… with the divorce rate, it’s amazing people don’t try to keep weddings as dirt cheap as possible!”
- What does sex have to do with ____? <— me after watching so many useless and pointless commercials!
- Did Hiccup really need a love interest for How to Train Your Dragon to be complete? So irrelevant to the story… What kind of message is Beauty and the Beast sending?! Staying with the abuser won’t love them into changing! Why must romances always be guy-gal? Why can’t it be 2 guys or 2 gals? Or 2 agender people (aka, someone who doesn’t have a gender)? I thought Hollywood was accepting…
- Only 20 more hours until the cheap chocolates are mine!
- Gimme, gimme, gimme… GARLIC FINGERS AND DONAIR SAUCE after midnight =D
- Yesterday I learned in a hygiene workshop that there are people who don’t wipe their ass after using the washroom, among other gross things people do… And people still are willing to have sex with each other??!!! EW!!!
- So many things people do, say, and experience about sex ranging from pleasure to kids to financial problems to diseases… And it all convinces me that being a non-sex positive, sex indifferent/repulsed aromantic asexual is awesome.
Gets exhausting. I have many reasons to be an activist all the time: I have a mental illness, I’m not white, I’m not heterosexual, and I don’t consider myself cisgender. I should be waking to a new blog post about my causes, and going to bed late at night after writing stinging replies to haters on the internet. I should always be armed, always be prepared, and always ready to jump at the first sign of hate!
Yet I’m not. Activism shouldn’t have to be a way of life. It gets tiring to read and re read the same opinion pieces about equality and inclusion. Learning about hypocrisy within a minority can drain energy faster than two hours of exercise. Demands about rewriting decades of vocabulary from a radio interview makes me want to scream.
It is so tiring, and eventually one just has to decide to not follow every last pro-LGBTQ blog. It’s time to not learn about how depression pulled another person down. It’s time to choose the news, turn off social media, and just breathe for 5 minutes.
There is a time for activism. There is a time to defend others. Most important of all: There must be time to look after oneself, and breathe!
Did you take time to breathe and just be, today?