Friday, June 20, 2008

And we sleep inside this machine

- Brand New Lyrics

"Jesus Christ" by Jesse Lacey and Brand New.

Jesse and this band are the favorites of my teens. In fact, I have attended two of their concerts (not entirely by choice). I may have even heard this song performed but I've always had a great deal of difficulty hearing lyrics in rock music, so I pretty much get only the tones and the rhythms.

Wondering what to make of this song and the artist. [Note to Dennis: "He is a well-known fan of Morrissey and The Smiths.]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For the Bible Tells Me So

For the Bible Tells Me So is going to be shown twice next week at a local movie theater, sponsored by our Pride organization. In anticipation of the event and the open forum to follow, we were loaned a dvd copy to see at home.

I'd read glowing reviews and comments about the film before, yet, even so, I was surprised at how powerful it was. It comes across on many levels, to Christians, to parents, to children, to gay and straight. So many stories, so many remarkable individuals.

While there is much I could comment on, what hit most forcefully in the end was simply the character and witness of Bishop Gene Robinson. There are days when I want to give up on the church and would just as soon focus on civil rights and justice in the secular world. But somehow whenever I hear or read what Gene has said, I sense something so much larger than him. And those scenes of his consecration, the strains of what I hear as "our" music, reinforces not just my joy and pride that this happened in the Episcopal Church, but my faith as well. He carries with him a mantle of saintliness -- not in the popular sense of coming close to perfection but rather a glow of the holy. Listening to him is as if being touched by the light.

As Lambeth approaches, I can only wonder that his person and his voice are not going to be at the heart of the gathering, in direct communication with bishops from around the world, those who need to hear and see him most. He will be there on the outside and I'm sure will be a powerful witness in other kinds of ways. I can only pray that the likes of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York will let him into their hearts and act accordingly.

Meanwhile, back on this side of the pond, this wonderful film is finding its way to all sorts of out of the way places, like our city. I can only say thank you Bishop Robinson.

[I'd strongly recommend viewing this film at local theaters, supporting pride organizations, and/or purchasing the dvd from the link provided above. However, for those unable to see it otherwise, it appears to be available at google videos here, as well.]

Leaving Egypt

From "Leaving Egypt" by Miriam Adahan:
Egypt -- in Hebrew, Mitzrayim -- literally means a "place of narrowness." It was a place where people were enthralled by flashy materialism, were fascinated with death, and were lacking in reverence for life. It was a society which believed that only those people in the most exalted positions were deserving of honor, and that they were justified in their arrogant disregard of and cruelty toward those who were beneath them. It was a place in which we lived in physical slavery and bondage.

Within each of us there is also a spiritual Mitzrayim, from which we must extricate ourselves daily. This coming out of Mitzrayim is accomplished by breaking out of our narrow boundaries and demonstrating our reverence for God, for the Godliness within man, and for the lasting values of Torah. As we will see, this is a difficult transition.

. . . .

In order to reach emotional maturity, a child must leave this Mitzrayim -- mentality. He must learn to look within himself for his sense of worth and joy, must develop tolerance and respect for his fellowmen, not just those at the top or those who agree with him, and must stop using manipulative control tactics to force others to change.

Many people never make the transition. They remain enslaved in a spiritual Mitzrayim, constantly condemning those who don't measure up or compulsively seeking approval to make themselves feel loved and successful, while feeling like losers deep inside. They alternate between an angry Pharaoh-mode (i.e. oppressing others in an attempt to feel superior) and a depressed slave-mode (i.e. allowing themselves to be oppressed and stifled, because they feel helpless, hopeless and inferior).
Read it all at InnerNet Magazine.