Archives For MISCELLANY

woman cleaning house - who are the real feminists

Image courtesy of thisgeekredes on Flickr under Creative Commons License

I read an article this morning called Don’t Call Beyonce’s Sexual Empowerment Feminism. I’d recommend you read the article, but the gist of it is that Beyonce (and, by extension, all female artists who are using sex to sell records) is not a feminist, regardless of her claims to the contrary.

I agree with the article. And I don’t think this issue needs to be all that complex.

There is a clear way forward for women who wish to be sexy, intelligent, creative, and feminist. All we have to do is look at Pink.

Pink is sexy without being a sex object, she’s a fantastic singer, she writes powerful songs about life and female exploitation (without participating in it) — she’s the whole package. And she’s wildly famous to boot.

There are others, of course.

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bachmann -- gays bullying america

123rf.com

Check out this audio clip of Michele Bachmann talking about how gays are bullying America:

Wow. How poignant. I didn’t realize how many gays have targeted their straight classmates in schools and picked on them mercilessly.

I guess I hadn’t heard about gangs of gays tying straight people to fences, beating them within an inch of their lives, and leaving them to die alone in the wilderness.

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Is Everyone Racist?

February 17, 2014
racism -- is everyone racist

123rf.com

Intro to a controversial question: Is everyone racist?

This article from The Onion recently provoked some good thoughts among some of my conservative brethren and really got me thinking about why it is that conservative arguments on various issues are so often dismissed as racist on some level.

The issue of who is racist and to what degree is in a “post-explosive” state at this point. Conservatives are so used to being called racists that many of them have been intimidated into silence, and liberals have taken for granted so deeply the racism of conservatives that liberals are now more or less permanently “on alert” for those opinions and worldviews at all times, ready to pounce and judge as soon as they are expressed by conservatives.

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martin luther king stop admiring your heroes and start emulating them

image from forbes.com

Contempt for the process of becoming great

Many in our society mock the geeky kid singing in the glee club, but revere that same kid when he grows up to be Steven Tyler or Carrie Underwood. Then the former mockers may well claim to be their “biggest fans.”

Similarly, people often mock those who advocate peace, justice, non-violence, and global oneness, dismissing them as soft, impractical, or liberal. That is, until these soft, impractical, and liberal people end up becoming the Martin Luther King Jrs, the Malala Yousafzais, the Jimmy Carters (the statesman, not the president), and the Gandhis of the world. Then they are venerated and honored as the best of the best. Everyone wants to embrace them as their own.

This illustrates both our hypocrisy and lack of understanding of the growth process. We consistently mock the kittens but revere the cats. We idolize those who have arrived, but disregard those who are starting out on that same journey. It’s cool to be a rock star, but it’s uncool to actually learn about music. It’s cool to be a global force for peace in adulthood, but uncool to adopt the values of, say, a Martin Luther King Jr. before one actually becomes famous for those values.

Absolving ourselves from responsibility to be great

In taking these shallow attitudes, we distance ourselves from the great peacemakers of the world, excusing ourselves from ever becoming like them. We say, “I’m no Martin Luther King, Jr.” True as that may be, every person can begin to embrace the universal values King embraced, right from wherever they currently are. Over time those values, lived out consistently, will inevitably bear fruit. But we are distracted. Or spoiled. Or weak-willed. Or fearful. Or ignorant. Or simply unwilling to live for any cause greater than ourselves (though, of course, we deeply admire those who are willing).

Having thus distanced ourselves from living the way the great peacemakers lived, and from responsibility to actually adopt their values, not simply to admire them, we then go about criticizing our leaders, as if we are victims. But our leaders arise out of the same fearful, selfish soup as the rest of us. Yes, it is too bad more of them are not more principled, but it’s far more tragic that we expect our leaders to have already have a depth of character most us don’t even aspire to have. It is either worth having or it isn’t. If it’s worth having, then we ourselves are the hypocrites when we fail to adopt the values that will, inevitably, make us into the towering characters we expect others to be.

Moving beyond admiration to emulation

No, not everyone is meant to be a famous peacemaker, like MLK, Jimmy Carter, or Malala, and that is not the point. Either world-changers are world-changers or they are not. If they are, that comes from their values, principles, and character. If we revere these people, we have a responsibility to become that which we revere, which means going past admiring those qualities in others to developing them in ourselves. This means we must respect and nurture the “kittens,” those among us who may not be famous but who are building these values into their lives and may someday emerge as local, national, and/or global voices for peace.  We should never discourage them, dismiss them as impractical, or reject them because we do not like their politics. We are dense, indeed, if we do not understand that the politics of the world’s true peacemakers, are direct reflections of their deeply cultivated characters.

Question: How are you intentionally setting out to become like the people you most admire? Let me know in the comments section!
See my review for the new Daniel Amos record, Dig Here Said the Angel, over at my other blog.

Dig Here Said the Angel cover art