Tag Archives: Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Encyclopedia Black And The Case Of FundiFeminist

Hey folks, to be honest, at first I wanted to make this a ragey ranty, yet humorous post that you would normally read like last year in 2013, but then I had to stop myself. I want to stop and talk about the serious nature of badly done parody accounts, that take cheap shots at people who I consider to be friends. Yesterday, a parody account named Da Love Cop, tweeted at me that I am too concerned all the time about racism, and this really had me upset.  But I had heard/read these words before, and I should have known who this person was, but Da Love Cop confessed who he was and he apologized for his cultural appropriation of Black culture.  I forgave him, and yet, we must move forward, and move from guilt to praxis.

I am okay with parody accounts of stereotypes and celebrities, we need to learn to be self-critical.  However, when it comes to personal details and a person’s identity, having fun at denigrating a person made in the image of God is not okay in any sense.  FundiFeminist has time and again taken cheap shots at some of my friends, with very few tweets, and these are personal details only a small circle of people would know to begin with. Tonight, I won’t expose who FundiFeminist is because I know who the committee 3-4 persons are. I will let them come out in their own time. What I do want to say is this, the accusations that my friend Jason, a friend and ally to my friends Dianna and Sarah (the primary targets of FundiFeminist) are baseless.  In short, to accuse Jason of this without any real proof, is flat out VICTIM-BLAMING.  In communities that bully other communities throughout history, victim-blaming is a practice that is the norm. Thanks to some help from some of Encyclopedia Black’s assistants, a more complete search for the IP information that FundiFeminist left on Da Love Cop’s blogpost, shows that Whoever FundiFeminist is (one of the three to four people) is at a conference (an area filled with hotels) in Chicago right now.  There are a few conferences going on in the Windy City so you are left to do the rest of the detective work yourself.  Why?

Because this post is not about FundiFeminist.  This isn’t about Da Love Cop. This goes beyond that.  This goes to the heart of post-evangelicalism and the Christian Publishing Industrial Complex.  We were warned about the latter weeks ago yes?  The same persons who call for UNITY! are the same persons who want to silence the “angry” social justice writers.  Why is this?  I think it’s because the narrative has gotten disrupted.  I think that postevangelicalism is far too obsessed with alternative realities “deeper stories” and abstract notions of healing that it’s far too busy wanting to read/hear other voices, particular online.  Healing is going to look different for everyone, and anger is just one mode of that process.  A number of postevangelical leaders have chimed in, questioned angry social justice writers’ faith all because persons like Sarah Moon, for example, who has an anti-rape culture critique of Christian books from the past (well, and present too).  I mean, but we’re more than just our “angry social justice” tweets and blogs and tumblr. We’re people of faith, we attend church, we play videogames.  This post is taking away from my Arkham City time BTW.

Sometimes we make fun of, “parody,” what we do not understand. I think the fear is that the narrative that my friends are bringing are going to tear apart the post-evangelical writing industry because they are saying things that need to be said, but we don’t want to have our dirty laundry out in public like that. As theologians like Katie Canon, James Cone and Gustavo Guittierez and Rosa Parks have all testified to, when persons speak truth to power in love, there is a risk involved.  They are putting themselves on the line. Folks get nervous when the status quo is endangered, they get real nervous, and sometimes, they may do and act in a way that is contrary to their good-natured civilized habits.

The problem is just not with FundiFeminist as a lone obscure individual parody account.  The problem is the environment that makes FundiFeminist okay, that endorses linguistic violence towards others’ personhoods in the name of “free speech.”  Free speech is not truly free if it violates your neighbor.  Words do indeed have meaning.  This environment is possible in post-evangelical internet hotspots like Stuff Christian Culture Likes.  The community’s history has been (and continues to be) well documented when it comes to detractors.   When one person questioned the community’s commitment to justice, trolls were sic’d on them via Twitter. The thing is, when it comes to things like “STORY”  and “being relational,” it’s only SCCL’S way of being relational that matters, and only their story that should be AT THE CENTER (post-evangelical, post-fundy, now all kumbaya blah).  This is basically the narrative of white postevangelicalism, a grand narrative of false moral equivalencies and hegemonic communities.  If you don’t see things exactly SCCL’s way, and you happen to be a white female, and a little bit of an intellectual, consider the probablity that you will be trolled and harassed into being relational with SCCL.  While holding to an on-the-fly, ahistorical definition of a fundamentalist (basically, anyone who passionately disagrees with you), “the symptoms” like “controlling the narrative” are exactly what SCCL does.

The parody FundiFeminist is not the threat to the status quo; the stories that Dianna and Sarah and others have to offer as alternatives to post-evangelical just don’t fit, and that perhaps suggesting the dangerous offering that Liberationist theologians have done for decades, to consider and prioritize the stories of the marginalized are what threatens “margi-privileged” communities like SCCL.  If anyone has experienced bullying and torment by the Stuff Christian Culture Likes community, I would suggest documenting and submitting screen shots of interactions on the SCCL  Watchdog Tumblr.

What @PastorMark & @TyndaleHouse Can Learn from Shia LaBeouf #fleshYGod

AFFLUENZA AND CELEBRITY PASTORS IN CHRISTIAN CULTURE

affluenza

affluenza (Photo credit: debaird™)

So I am pretty much over blogging and writing about celebrities. You thought this post was going to be about Mark Driscoll and Shia LaBeouf, didn’t you? Whoops, well, it’s not. Sorry to disappoint. Today, I want to talk about a disease that is devastating our country right now. Worse than the chicken pox and the measles, our society is suffering from what is now being diagnosed as The Affluenza.

Last week, in my beloved state of Texas, a judge mercifully sentenced teenager Ethan Crouch (mercifully) to a few years at a six-figure rehabilitation center for driving drunk and murdering four people. Poor Ethan, his parents were so wealthy that they never bothered to set boundaries. No research has ever been done on Affluenza, but let me tell you that it is real. In fact, I know a quite a large population here in the United States that is sick from its own Affluenza: its Church.

In the United States, no matter what church you are a part of, regardless of its doctrine, the one thing that makes teachings all relative is the worship of MAMMON. In seminary, I was once told that I should keep checks on myself since Black Baptist pastors have a reputation for being overly ambitious and levying a lot of power of their congregations. The funny thing is, this quest for power knows no skin color or creed. Affluenza is color-blind. Take the example of Mark Driscoll for example. He is a mega-church pastor, has a large following, and posts that STAN for him say as much: his defenders CAN’T be found disagreeing with Driscoll because he has “saved” them (ummmmm I thought only Jesus saves, SOLUS CHRISTUS???????)

Absolute power in the United States is venerated as untouchable, and what I have learned recently is that sometimes money and power DON’T go together. And I may have to write about how that works some other time, but for now, I want to discuss how power consolidates itself. Okay, so you’re an uber-popular profit of the Lord, and a publishing company makes a money from your “work,” then that publishing company is going to STAN for you. The most recent and just shameful example right now is Tyndale House, publisher of Joel Watts’ beloved NEW LIVING TRANSLATION bible. Joel, to his credit has been quite prophetic and critical towards a book corporation that has given Joel a lot of gifts. In fact, as Joel has pointed out, Tyndale House is covering up Mark Driscoll and his lying and his stealing WITH EVEN MORE LYING. They are telling half-truths like Janet Mefferd apologizing????? Ummmmm no! First of all she was sorry she didn’t go to Tyndale first, but then again, given Tyndale’s disastrous response to this disaster, I think maybe she did the right thing in the first place!

Tyndale is just one company, but they are a big example of what Christianity looks like today: the Church is dying from Affluenza. Joel is wrong. This whole Driscoll/plagiarism thing is NOT ABOUT ACADEMIC INTEGRITY. There is no need to contact Amazon. Christianity is a religion where the TEN Commandments are pretty important, haven’t you ever read, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”? I mean Conservatives use this verse all the time right to talk about taxes, but now they are STANNING for Driscoll who is stealing authors’ private property. Commitment to power and money is what causes people to act hypocritically a lot of the time. The Affluenza of Christian Celebrity culture has got to stop. But where can we find healing from this disease?

I would suggest, given this Advent season, and this first post for Tyler Tully’s and my synchroblog, #fleshYGod, that the answer lies in the dirty, straw-filled manger. In the Gospels we have a story about an infant who’s parents were too poor to buy animals to sacrifice, so they had to purchase doves instead. How embarassing that our Savior’s family was not even privileged enough to do something as normal as that. It’s sort of like families who aren’t able to afford a yearly vacation out of the country, EXCEPT IT’S not. My point is, is like liberation theologian Joerg Reiger said years ago, that we should watch the money, watch where it flows, who has it, and how it is used. We should also be watching WHO LOSES the money, who doesn’t have the power, and confront those institutions and practices that do enable monetary predators and power-mongers.

Recently, Transformers star and actor Shia LaBeouf was caught plagiarizing a comic book for an “independent” film that he “made.” Shia admitted his fault on the Twitterz, and more than that, has taken down the video. Now Shia must face ADDITIONAL shaming from movie fans (in addition to being a part of Michael Bay’s Transformers trilogy, am I right???). Tyndale and Logos Bible Software have yet to do the same with Driscoll, as Driscoll has yet to admit any wrong doing other than the ole “blame the intern/plebian routine.”

LaBeouf said it best,

“Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work. In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it. I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work. I f***ed up.”

The thing is, Shia LaBeouf doesn’t have to claim he stole “for the Glory of God;” Hollywood might be white supremacist and suffer from just as much Affluenza as the church, but at least these artists follow through on their own ethical code. Meanwhile, Christians? We have the Decalogue. Let’s, ummmm look to it, maybe?

Jesus Presented in the Temple

 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.- Luke 2:22-24 niv