Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Sane Response (Lyric)

The Sane Response

How come the angels lose and devils win
And even Satan says he’s born again
How come suicide sometimes feel right
The face of day that’s as dark as night

I am angry so I won’t cry
I am angry so I won’t cry

How come bullets kill but hope keeps on
How come we all murdered God’s Son?
And keep it up with our evangelical tongue
Such an ugly song we wrote and sung

It’s as cold as loneliness outside
I heard the weather man say
As he rolled up his charts
And packed all our hearts away

There comes a break when love’s revealed
And the sky stays grey but hey
Something’s changed in how we pray
Steady on that silent narrow way

I am angry so I won’t cry
I am angry so I won’t cry

And yet I cry, and cry, and cry each day
Sweetie, lay your burden on me, stay
It’s okay okay okay okay okay…
Your anger doesn’t scare me – stay.

© 2008 Jon Trott

tag: , , , , , , , ,

Vicious Anti-Obama email

[Below is a response to email spam sent to me... and apparently also sent to thousands of others. I sent this to my friends, then decided I might as well post it here as well.]

I know most of us are media-savvy enough to recognize spammed lies when we see 'em. But I've gotten an anti-Barack Obama email -- sent, as too many are, by well-meaning evangelical friends -- that was outrageous. I figure others might appreciate having the record set straight. Though I do personally support Obama's candidacy, this isn't about whether you vote for him or not. Rather it is a lesson in lies.

The version of the email I got begins with this:

"Who is Barack Obama? If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States... better heed this and pray about it and share it. We checked this out on "". It is factual. Check for yourself."

Wow. Snopes? That's a website where falsehoods on the web are exposed, and a good place to "bookmark" for research purposes. So, if Snopes says the email is true, well...

I guess the anti-Email's authors were hoping no one would take them up on their lies and actually go check Because if you do, as I did, you find out what you strongly suspected: they are bald-faced LIARS. See:

Snopes exposes every falsehood in the letter, from Obama's alleged ties to radical "Wahabi" Islam via the alleged "Wahabi" school he attended (LIE: exposed by both CNN and the Associated Press) to his being a Muslim, period (he was attending Catholic school at the age of six and has never claimed any faith except the Christian faith -- he currently attends a Chicago United Church of Christ.)

Where did the idea he was a Wahabi Muslim originate? Ha. Turns out that Insight magazine, a spin-off of the Washington Times, came up with the story. Both publications are owned by Sun Myung Moon, the head of the "Moonies" (Unification Church), which teaches that Moon is the Messiah and his wife is the Holy Spirit. Oh, and Moon made much of his fortune via arms dealing! (Gotta love it--a Messiah making firearms.)

But there's more. For instance, the email claims (again, wrongly) of Obama that "when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran."

Completely false. Actually, there was another congressman (Keith Ellison of Minnesota), who is openly Muslim and did get sworn in on the Koran.

But Barack was NOT sworn in that way. He's not a Muslim. And so on and so on... Oh, another great LIE had to do with Obama allegedly refusing to say the pledge of allegiance. Also untrue.

Anyway, if nothing else, this email is therapeutic for me. I was not intending to start my day upset.... but even for politics, this lying email was a new low.

One additional note. When an email begs you to "pass this on to your friends," please, please, make sure what you are passing on is actually fact. Use and other sites to double-check the email's legitimacy. Ask around. As Christians, we can unwittingly participate in further lies and gossip which are highly destructive not only to someone's candidacy, but moreso to someone's personhood.

Jon Trott

...And as one blog addition to the above, may I say that having a Muslim president makes at least as much sense as having a president who's Mormon. Having an evangelical president certainly hasn't worked out all that well, and is a project a growing number of Christ followers (including me) have little interest in. So nothing I wrote above should be read as suggesting that someone's faith (of whatever flavor) should disqualify them for the Presidency.

tag: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dr. Elaine Storkey 2008 Lawsuit Over Religious Discrimination

Is England's Elaine Storkey "the wrong type of evangelical"? That's what a lawyer for her school who fired her maintains. I can only hope more such "wrong types" show up very soon, and in great numbers. But... what has me ranting? C'mon, you know: the usual "shut up and sit down" approach by conservative evangelical males when intelligent women (a.k.a., "feminist liberals"?) raise painful facts and questions to the fore.

Photo (below): Dr. Storkey, left, visits Tearfund project in Africa.

Dr. Elaine Storkey is one of the most reasonable and intelligent voices amongst British Christian intellectuals (already an impressive bunch). She's also quite well known there due to her "Thought for the Day" BBC 4 broadcasts and fine books (see end of this bit for a partial list). Nonetheless, Storkey recently was fired by her Wycliffe Hall (Oxford) bosses, the controversial Rev. Richard Turnbull (school principal) and Rt Rev James Jones, Anglican Bishop of Liverpool. Storkey immediately protested, noting she was fired after, in a private trustees meeting, raising concerns over a number of statements Turnbull had made since his tenure began. "There was a grievance procedure, which had been heard and which I felt had treated me unfairly," she told the employment tribunal. "I had appealed. I was waiting for the appeal to be heard but instead of it being heard, I was dismissed."

On January 8, Wycliffe Hall granted that she'd been unfairly treated and settled with 20,000 pounds (approx. $40,000) in consequence. Dr. Storkey will pursue a lawsuit, however, on the grounds of religious discrimination. Thus the school's comment that she's merely "the wrong type of evangelical." The lawsuit is expected to be heard in June.

Dr. Storkey is not only well known for her broadcasting but also as President of England's Tear Fund, a rough equivalent to World Vision in the United States. She is involved in the Anglican Evangelical Progressive group, Fulcrum, and a dialogue/information outreach to persons struggling with same-sex attraction, True Freedom Trust. All of these facets offer a portrait of biblically balanced faith, rooted in wisdom principle Scripture exegesis.

I personally have always appreciated Elaine Storkey's approach to gender issues, whether her moderate approach to homosexuality or her moderate (and equally biblical) approach to feminism. As someone deeply invested in a feminist hermeneutic regarding Scripture, I believe Storkey's contributions are -- in America -- under-utilized. She deserves wider recognition here, and I for one hope that this unfortunate series of events does in fact lead to her becoming more visible as a spokesperson for women, for the dispossessed and hungry, and for men and women dealing with same-sex attractions.

Some day soon (God willing), I'll try to snag Dr. Storkey for an interview... or three or four interviews as far as this blog is concerned.

Here are some links to various of Dr. Elaine Storkey's books, just so I can do my bit to popularize her writings here (in no order whatever):

Book Links:
What's Right with Feminism
Study Bible for Women (NT only; notes co-written)
Origins of Difference: The Gender Debate Revisited
Created or Constructed: The Great Gender Debate
Fathers and Sons: the Search for a New Masculinity (co-authored)
Mary's Story, Mary's Song
Praying with Saint Teresa (co-authored)
The Search for Intimacy (and 3 excerpts from that book I blogged a while back)
Losing A Child: Finding a Path Through the Pain (Link is a Brit site, so in pounds not dollars - sorry)
Conversations on Christian Feminism (co-authored)
Magnify the Lord
Biblical Feminism 20 Years Later (audio tape from Chr. for Biblical Equality)

Other links:
Wikipedia Elaine Storkey bio
Wycliffe Hall press release
Fulcrum press release (also mentions two others dismissed by Wycliffe Hall)

Other blog entries:
'Culture Shock' writes on "Elaine Storkey and Wycliffe"
'TIMESonline' reporter writes affectionately about a young Elaine Storkey dancing at Greenbelt, and what has happened to her in the Wycliffe mess.
'TitusONEnine' offers links; the interesting (if at times predictably fundie) stuff is in the comments section. Look particularly for the good and helpful for Americans looking for background comment from Dale Rye (#13, I believe).

Related stories on Blue Christian: Ruth Tucker and Calvin College

This story was edited five or six times today, in order to insert more links and also to correct an error re Euros vs. Pounds, along with inserting the lovely photo pirated from the Tearfund website.


tag: , , , , , , , , , , ,