Tag Archives: Arts

Welcome to the New Look Political Jesus: New Logo, Neater Pages Section

This is an update on some new features that we have added to this site. First, in case you hadn’t noticed, in the header, we have our own logo now. I would like to take the time to thank IRL friend and PJ commenter Seth for taking the time to perfect the logo, and also giving us a number of the same logo, with different colors. That way, we can change the color scheme to fit the logo, and vise versa.

PJ Facebook

In addition to recommending the logo style (inspired by 1970s DC Comics), Optimistic Chad also recommended organizing our PAGES section. I am sure it was a little confusing as of last night until I (Rod) updated it.

Now our featured pages are by broader topic, rather than narrow, limited subject: BOOK REVIEWS, CHURCH HISTORY, THEOLOGY AND RACE, THE BIBLE AND SEX, and RELIGION AND NERD CULTURE. When you have a chance, check them out!

And don’t forget to follow Political Jesus on Facebook!:

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The Africana Bible: Women, Art, and Responsibility

Isaac Hayes

My Ethiopian Bible is bigger than Your White King James Bible!!!

“Let me add one more line in order to connect my African-South African reality with that of my fellow Africana sisters: ‘Isono sethu ubulili bethu besifazane–“Our sin is our female sex.’ ” Madipoane Masenya (page 33)

Like many posts I do, I begin this one with a personal story. A while back I was riding the Fort Worth T bus on the way home from a long morning at work. I sat in the back, wearing my blue “Got Jesus?” hoodie when a elderly black man across the aisle from me, informed me that my hoodie was wrong, that I had the wrong name on that shirt. And I responded, what am I doing wrong? And the man said, God’s name is Jehovah, and Jehovah only. Of course, my reply was well Jehovah is the German rendition of the divine name in the “Old Testament.” He tried to call himself persuading me to his “argument” but I tuned him out, and went on my merry way. Lovely story right? Probably wondering what exactly does that have to do with this post on Women, Art, and Responsibility in The Africana Bible?

Well, my friend, for Christians in the African Diaspora, the Bible is a cherished book. West Africans generally, according to Steed Vernyl Davidson, Justin Ukpong, and Gosnell York in “The Bible and Africana Life: A Problematic Relationship,” sometimes sleep with their Bible under their pillows (hey in Texas, it’s guns–okay okay, I kid, well maybe not) (p 39-40). The Bible is seen as being able to be reconciled with African worldview(s), but funny thing is, some white Christians identify their own brand of Christianity as THE only way of being biblical. Funny how that works, eh? The Bible permeates so much of African diasporic life that the Hebrew Bible inspires artwork, from John Edgar Wideman’s novel Two Cities to Harriet Power’s “Bible Quilt” to the spirituals of enslaved Africans sung on American shores to Isaac Hayes’ album, Black Moses. Need I go on? — see “The Hebrew Bible in Africana Art, Music, and Popular Culture” by Kimberly N. Ruffin (page 52-57).

Back to my story: is Jehovah, the German iteration of YHWH, the Holy Name, the SINGULAR, ONE AND ONLY WAY to address God, to have a relationship with God. 1000 years ago, God became Incarnate in a German Barbarian, and it is by being a part of the Prussian race that one is saved, right? Looks that way. That’s the logic my friend on the bus. My friend and his fellow co-religionists are reading the Bible irresponsibly. Rev. Wil Gafney argues that responsibly reading Israel’s Scriptures means “putting an end to the mediation of the scriptures through gentile languages, especially German, in this post-Holocaust world” (48). Indeed, even Israel’s Scriptures depiction of God’s Gender is not masculine (sorry, John Piper), but the only reproductive organ God has in the Bible is a womb (50). Whoopsy! Looks like androncentrists, sexists, and masculinists have a problem with God! Gafney continues, “The reception of the scriptures of Israel into the Christian canon was and is marked by usurpation, colonization, anti-Judaism, and anti-Semitism. Specifically in the West, the scriptures of Israel have regularly been mediated through gentilic culture and languages, particularly German, which is especially onerous in a post-Holocaust world” (47). When you think about it, misogynists who hate women, they read the Bible irresponsibly too.

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Alas, 2010, I barely knew ye…

Not true of course. I was there for every day of 2010’s life. Here were my highlights:

1) Most pertinent to current readers of course was my joining Political Jesus as a co-conspiritor. While I had been blogging before, blogging here has been a great thing for me creatively and spiritually. I also won’t forget to mention that Rod has become a great friend, and we now hang out socially much more than we did prior to our PJ connection. Cheers!

2)  The church plant that I started with some great friends had its end in 2010. Eikon, R.I.P. But out of the ashes, I have been renewed in my ministerial activities in my personal life and within the PC(USA).

3) I have taken on a great deal more responsibility at my home church and I am now preaching on a regular basis. The Bible study I teach is maxing out the space we have, and I am having great fun.

4) Perfoming my first funeral, and doing three funerals in a row. Not fun, but it was a great learning experience and I am blessed to have been able to help.

5) My family is doing very well. My wife had not been in the hospital at all for anything lupus-related in 2010. My children have now discovered a new love for comic book related cartoons and toys. My family was a great blessing to me last year.

6) I got to be an extra in the upcoming Green Lantern movie. Nuff said.

7) The Avengers cartoon and the Young Justice premeire were both amazing. Also, Batman: the Brave and the Bold has been a great source of enjoyment.

8) Made some great friends this year at school and I hang out with a small group of them Sunday nights, which is the nerdiest time of my life, but has nourished my soul. My nerd soul anyway.

9) Glenn Beck was revealed as the silly guy he is.

10) In comic news, the DC comics/Green Lantern event, Blackest Night, was a huge commercial and storytelling success.

11) As for money-making, I quit my job at the comic shop and started working as a machinist making airplane parts. Ironically, I am much happier.

2011, if you are any better than 2010, I might explode with pure amazing.

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