Farewell, Google Reader

Google Reader shuts down this weekend, causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the technorati. Rachel has switched to Feedly. So have I.

If you want to see all of your options, and see why Feedly is your best bet, read this.

Thanks to all of you who subscribe through readers. Click thru once in a while to comment.

Two Podcasts, No Waiting

I took some time away from the blog this weekend, due in part to a power outage caused by major thunderstorms in Minnesota. I also spent most of Saturday tracking down a swim raft from Craigslist, floating it into the lake, and subsequently vanquishing all comers who attempted to dethrone me as King of the Hill.

But we awake Monday to two Homebrewed Christianity podcasts featuring items of note:

[Read more…]

Rachel Held Evans: A Woman’s Voice

Rachel in a big pulpit.

It’s tough representing your entire gender.

I feel the pressure every time I climb those super-intimidating stairs to stand behind one of those super-intimidating old-school pulpits to give a sermon I spent extra hours preparing because a small part of me still believes I’m unworthy to give it. I feel it every time I post a blog or write an article or publish a book, every time I give an interview or am asked to speak.

“We wanted to feature a woman’s voice,” a well-meaning conference planner will inform me with excitement, as if mine is sufficient to capture the experiences of 3.5 billion human beings.

I’ll desperately scan the program for another woman’s face, trying to shove the old adage from Clare Boothe Luce from my mind: “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail no one will say, ‘She doesn’t have what it takes.’ They will say, ‘Women don’t have what it takes.”

Luce’s insight, illustrated brilliantly by XKCD, is not a helpful one to share with a perfectionistic overachiever who takes herself way too seriously and who retreats to the company of complex carbohydrates when she’s nervous, which is to say, all of the time.

[Read more…]

Some Notes on Christian Feminism Week

Next week, this blog will be populated exclusively by posts from Christian feminists. I’ve had several submissions, and there are more coming in. You can read about the initial invitation and learn how to submit something here.

Some have wondered why feminists need to post on my blog and not, instead, have a space of their own. They don’t need to post here. And many do, thankfully, have blogs of their own. In fact, a couple of next week’s posts are cross-posts from their own blogs. The reason, I suppose, to submit a post for this blog is to reach a different audience, and to say some things to that audience that need to be said.

Others have asked why, in my original invitation, I said that I would be reading, but not commenting or moderating comments. I won’t be commenting because, quite honestly, that’s when I’ve most often put my foot in my mouth. It’s better to let the commentary play out without my involvement.

I won’t be moderating the comments because I don’t want to be put in the position of favoring one post and disallowing another. I don’t actually think that several of the guest bloggers would even trust my judgment in that regard. However, each of the guest bloggers has my email address, so they can always notify me if the commentary is getting out-of-hand or disrespectful. Editors at Patheos will also be watching the commentary, as they always do.

If any of you thinks the commentary is growing abusive or disrespectful next week, please contact me.

I think that, for the most part, you will find what I have found: the readers and commenters on this blog tend to be thoughtful, respectful, and interesting. Of course, we have the occasional fundamentalist troll, but we’ve managed to shake most of those people loose over the years.

I’m looking forward to reading all of the posts and comments next week. I hope you are, too.