Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Importance of Context

Postcolonialism is one of those university words... it deals with cultural identity in colonised societies: the dilemmas of developing a national identity after colonial rule; the ways in which writers articulate and celebrate that identity (often reclaiming it from and maintaining strong connections with the coloniser); the ways in which the knowledge of the colonised (subordinated) people has been generated and used to serve the coloniser's interests; and the ways in which the coloniser's literature has justified colonialism via images of the colonised as a perpetually inferior people, society and culture.

I am a postcolonialist. The short of this translates to: i'm trying to renounce my white priviledge. "Hi i'm luke! what's your favorite color?! i see your skin is different than mine, do you identify primarily through this medium or do you prefer i deal with you on an individual level?" There are no inferior people, just people in different contexts. The point is to dialog about those context and see the similarities! imagine what we could learn! imagine the different ways of viewing the world that we could learn and in turn use these to help solve problems in our own contexts! awesome huh?

the opposite of this view is colonialist. no one will identify as this, but i see a TON of this popping up recently. a colonialists believes that their country is the greatest and all other countries must measure up to their standard. for example, US colonialism would hold that white, male, middle to upper-class capitalist that is religiously nondenominational Prostestant is the standard to be measured by.

the biggest instance in current events is the whole blow up on the Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright's 2001 comments where he stated "God damn America!" people are jumping up and down about this.. people are asking me what my thoughts are.. here they are:

someone claimed that Obama is “as a man and member of the Elite social-economic class Senator Obama has no sense of what working class men or women suffer, survive, and live through daily”

he’s not. please read his background. he's actually quite poor compared to every other politician out there...

as for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.. please listen to his whole speech in context and read what Black Liberation Theology means. it mainly means that it is Afro-centric but not Afro-supremists. Why don't we have White Liberation Theology? Because we don't need it in this country! The majority of theology in America is white. What would we be liberated from? Keep that in mind while you view the whole speech! enjoy!

Do you see the postcolonialist message in here?

This whole mess is started because a man, Obama, was raised by a white mother and self-identifed as a black man and went to a progressive black church. this is what it is. what we’re dealing with is race issues on both sides and white priviledge is being confronted. white people don't like having to remember the fact that they were generally shitty to people of color despite the fact they had "All Men are Created EQUAL" in the bill of rights since the late 1700s and still haven't lived up to it yet (although there have been some improvements).

now that you have the context... what do you think?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wook at dat Face

hey y'all! we're off in AZ for vacation, i'll see ya on the 24th. i leave you with this moral: Don't Be Evil.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Not Playing God

from Dietrich Bonhoeffer Life Together:
"God did not make others as I would have made them. God did not give them to me so that i could dominate and control them, but so that i might find the creator by means of them... God does not want me to mold others into the image that seems good to me, that is, into my own image. Instead, in their freedom from me, God made other people in God's own image. I can never know in advance how God's image should appear in others and two others. That image always takes on a completely new and unique form."

Bonhoeffer points something out here vitally important to us, esp. to ministers. this is something i should have tattooed over my heart and on my forehead. others aren't a roadblock to God, they're the super highway. I've seen recently too many "christians" say things like "I just hope you find the true Christ." or "i hope you're striken to your knees and find christ as we've found him" or "there is only one way"...

how many people are on this planet? a few billion. good. each one is a different way to God. you can learn something different from each. take away the notion of "only those who actively come in the name are the only ones worth paying attention to" because that's just short-sighted. God isn't the most obvious, infact God is very subtle. there are better ways than a sunrise to let people know that you're there, but that's the method i see God reminds us everyday that God's there... discard notions of secular.. there's no such thing. God is everywhere. The trick is to be atuned to seeing God and finding God in unexpected places.

We do not have control of one another.. as a pastor i don't WANT control over others. i want to enter into dialog and see how that reflects back on us both... let's look at the strange feedback loop we've created.

Monday, March 03, 2008

BUT it's ALWAYS been done that way

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result, and all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon the monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be attacked.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not? Because as far as they know, that’s the way it’s always been done.

Do you believe that story? Would you tell it to someone else as true? I asked my source if the experiment had been ever done, and she did not know. So far as she knew, it was just a story that makes a lot of sense. If repeated enough times, soon "everybody" will believe it, and it will become part of the culture. Is that the way popular acceptance of the litany came about?

If you had lived in Caesar's time (d. 44 BCE), would you have believed in Roman gods because "everybody" did? (Actually, not everybody did).

If you had lived in France in 1572 (Bartholomew Massacre), would you have believed that everyone had to adhere to the same religion, or the nation would fall apart?

If you had lived in Italy in Galileo's time (1564-1642), would you have believed the sun moves around the earth?

If you had lived in Salem, MA, in 1692, would you have believed in witchcraft?

So, what's different about 2001 to present?

this was to present a myth in modern language.. we here in the modern world tend to equate fact with truth.. this study never has happened but it relays a truth about the world. so the follow up question is can something be true but not factual? for more on this, just check out the tag-link: Truth NOT Fact.